CORAL Bingo originated as a bookmaking business on racecourse pitches run by Joe Coral (born Joseph Kagarlitski) in 1926. Due to legislation changes, he progressed and developed a chain of licensed betting shops from 1961. During 1979 a merger took place with Mark Lane and Coral Leisure Group was born diversifying into Pontins Holiday Camps, Casinos, Hotels, Squash & Bingo Clubs.
An acquisition took place by Bass in 1981 and the Coral name became the bingo division of Bass plc consisting of 22 bingo clubs previously acquired from such operators as Star Bingo. Bass also had a further 24 bingo operations in its Pontins Holiday Camps.
Over the next 5 years, a further chain of 80 bingo clubs had been purchased from Thorn EMI and the estate was rationalised and reduced to a viable 72 clubs in 1988. Between 1988 and 1991 another 30 clubs where acquired from Zetters and 74 from Granada were also added and the Gala Brand was created.