Rank Group is the biggest casino operator in the UK following its acquisition of Mecca Bingo halls. The casino giant has recently voiced its concerns about the significant impact the heat wave in July has had on its venues’ recent financial figures. This came as the second time this issue was raised after Ladbrokes made similar comments the previous week.
Rank Group runs over 50 casinos throughout the country and expressed its thoughts that the soaring temperatures had a significant and adverse effect on their financial results during the first few weeks of their financial year, which begun on 1st July. Ladbrokes issued a similar statement the previous week, when they attributed the heat wave for their below average performance of their betting machines in the Ladbrokes high street betting shops.
Despite the poor performance in early July, Rank achieved a seven percent increase in revenues in the year leading up to 30th June, up to £596.2 million. However, during the same period, their annual pre-tax profit fells slightly from £45 million to £42.7 million
Tough Economic Climate
Chief executive officer at Rank Group, Ian Burke, spoke out about the results, saying that the poor results are the product of the tough economic climate and solid competition within the industry. Rank Group became the largest casino operator in the UK after acquiring 19 of Gala’s Casinos towards the beginning of 2013, giving it the status of the largest operator in the country.
Mecca Bingo’s revenue went up by a percent to £296.2 million as a result of growing digital revenues. However, this trend was offset by the poor attendance levels in the bingo halls. The number of people frequenting the venues was shown to increase from 955,000 to 958,000 over the course of a year. However, the customers who did go to the clubs went less often.
The total number of entrances to the Mecca Bingo halls dropped to 13.6 million for 2012 – 2013, down from 14.4 million in 2011 – 2012. Burke thinks that this is the result of households feeling the strain of the economic climate.
The CEO told that the company, which is majorly owned by Guoco Group (investment firm owned by Malaysian billionaire Quek Leng Chan), needs to direct its focus on innovation to find ways to increase attendance numbers. While the bingo clubs are feeling the strain, online bingo continues to boom. You can find some information on the industry’s growth here.
It seems that not all industries felt the strain of the heat wave. Retail activity experienced a positive effect, with sales increasing by 1.1 percent.