Bingo still recovering from pandemic

Bingo hall owner Rank Group reports net gaming revenue up 69 per cent to £163.1 million for the three months to the end of September compared to a year before.

BUSINESS PIC  / DAVID HAMILTON PIC / SHROPSHIRE STAR PIC 26/01/21 GV Exterior at Mecca Telford, Mecca Bingo Club at Southwater Square, Telford..
BUSINESS PIC / DAVID HAMILTON PIC / SHROPSHIRE STAR PIC 26/01/21 GV Exterior at Mecca Telford, Mecca Bingo Club at Southwater Square, Telford..

For Mecca, which includes bingo halls in Bilston, Brierley Hill, Oldbury, Telford and Wednesbury, it was up 41 per cent to £34m. The figure was down 22 per cent on pre-pandemic levels in 2019-2020.

Visits from Mecca's older and more frequent customers have been slower to return than other age groups.

Its Grosvenor Casinos venues, which include Bentley Mill Way, Walsall, were up 209 per cent on the year to £79.2m, but still 20 per cent down on the same quarter two years ago.

Rank said the for Grosvenor London continued to feel the impact of reduced tourism, whilst outside London net gaming revenue was running at close to pre pandemic levels.

UK digital net gaming revenue was up four per cent to £38.2m.

Based on current trading performance, an expectation of continued improving performance across all businesses and assuming venues remain fully open, management expects group net gaming revenue for the year to the end of June to be in the range of £700m to £750m and pre-tax profits to be between £50m and £75m.

Chief executive John O'Reilly said: "We have seen an excellent response from our customers as they return to our venues, with our colleagues doing a great job in ensuring they are being properly entertained within a safe environment.

"Whilst forecasting remains difficult as we emerge from the pandemic in an environment of volatile costs and numerous supply chain challenges, we are confident that trading will continue to improve across each of our businesses during the remainder of the year."

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