Rank Group's Mecca Bingo, one of the United Kingdoms major bingo chains, told the media that its Scotland revenues had dropped 14% shortly after the smoking ban implementation in the area.
Mecca Bingo, which is running 14 sites in Scotland alone, said its total revenues were down by 1% with 26 weeks of operations leading up to June 25. Admissions were evidently hit as its numbers fell by 6% while average revenue coming from each individual was 9% lower in the 13 weeks following the smoking ban implementation.
Mecca surmised that during the early weeks of the smoking ban, their patrons were smoking in chosen areas in between games, instead of enjoying other gambling machines like the slots; hence, the drop in spending per person.
To encourage players to stay inside in between games, Mecca has decided to invest in technology-driven interval games. Although these high-tech interval games offer considerably lower prizes than the main games, but they are likely to be profitable for operators like Mecca.
Time will tell if the new interval games could help the drop in revenues but Mecca is optimistic for a revenue recovery.
Since its beginnings in 1961, Mecca now has an estimated five million members and 117 sites.
Saturday, September 02, 2006