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Mecca Bingo Halls Hit Hard by the Smoking Ban in Scotland

British based leisure and gaming group, Rank, offered further proof on December 7, 2006 that their Mecca Bingo Clubs in Scotland are being pushed to the brink by the smoking ban imposed north of the border. Rank, which has sold their Hard Rock chain of cafes in order to focus on their gaming interests, said that their profits have been suffering due to the poor performance of the Scotland based clubs, as was reported during the market trading throughout the 48 weeks leading to November 26th.

They said that the turnover at the Mecca Bingo Clubs in England and Wales has grown to about 1% with a 2% rise per customer to offset their 1% decline in their admissions. However, the smoking ban imposed on Scotland has hit the game of bingo especially hard since most players that smoke go outdoors during breaks, meaning that they stay away from buying pull-tab games and playing at the slot machines.

The annual revenues have slid down about 15% since smoking was prohibited in March with player admission going down about 6% and the spending per customer dropping 9% at the 14 Scottish Bingo Clubs owned by Rank. Rank also admitted that they could do more to mitigate the effects of the ban, like develop new games that are allowed under the Gambling Act of 2005.

Rank has also reported that they are experiencing a slowdown in their revenue growth at their Grosvenor Casinos, with 30 branches in England and Wales, due to tougher competition. Rank added that despite a remarkable growth in consumer demand, the looming over-supply in the casinos at certain branches is still a cause for concern. Rank Espana reported that there is a slight impact in the revenues at their Spanish Bingo Halls due to the partial smoking ban that was imposed.


Monday, May 07, 2007
Danny Hudson

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