The recently implemented smoking ban in Scotland is unanimously pointed to as the cause of revenue drops in Mecca bingo clubs and brewing group Belhaven, with 14% and 2% revenue drops, respectively.
Rank Group-owned Mecca also experienced a 6% drop in admission and 9% drop in spending-per-head since the smoking ban began.
Mecca could only guess at the exact cause of the spending-per-head dropp within the early weeks of the smoking ban. The suspect that usual gamers went for smoking breaks outside in between games and passed up on other leisure and gambling machines like the slots, which they would have normally played if they could still smoke inside.
Meanwhile, the Bingo Association has recently published that leisure and gambling operators could anticipate revenue drops that could be as high as 27% considering that over 50% of regular bingo patrons were smokers.
For its part, Belhaven told the media that although its business in Scotland was down 2.2% since May, this outcome was still better than their original expectation. Pub group Greene King, owner of Belhaven, also noted that sales from its estate south of the Border looked good with growth of 5.3%.
The ongoing and eventual effects of Scotland's smoking ban in enclosed public places since 26 March will be monitored by the media and industry players closely, as this will set the trend in England and Wales when smoking ban is applied by 2007.
Sunday, August 27, 2006