It has been reported that Simon Wykes the MD of Mecca Bingo has left and Ian Burke the Chief Executive Officer of the parent company Rank Group Plc is now acting Managing Director of Mecca Bingo until such time that a replacement can be found. The Original report published in the Times states that the departing Mecca Bingo MD was told that he would be in receipt of a years salary and any entitlements allowed in his contract with Mecca Bingo, whereby Mr Wykes decided to leave with immediate effect and without carrying out a handover.
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There was also some speculation in the Times report that the decision to replace Mr Wykes as the Managing Director of Mecca Bingo was taken to bring some 'fresh blood' to the Mecca Bingo brand, which in turn would hopefully bring some much needed stimulation to the high street Mecca Bingo Halls. The decision to replace the Mecca Bingo Managing Director is hot on the heels of Rank's other big management changes, recently Mr Phil Urban was hired to take over control of the Grosvenor Casino brand and Mr Mark Jones was hired as Managing Director of Blue Square both companies are part of the Rank stable of gaming companies.
Mr Burke's press release does not really give much away as to the why and wherefores, just stating simply "Simon has worked hard to stabilise Mecca Bingo during a period in which the industry has had to adapt to the effects of the smoking ban, the loss of Section 21 gaming machines and rising taxation. We have entered a new phase in our strategy, as we look to move beyond stabilisation to rebuilding Mecca Bingo's profits. On behalf of the board I would like to thank Simon for his hard work and to wish him well for the future."
Mecca Bingo is one of the biggest names in UK bingo both on the high street and online, they own in the region of 103 clubs and have approximately 3,543 employees in England, Wales and Scotland. Mecca Bingo was established in 1961 and since that time has grown to be one of the most well respected names in bingo. Rank is the parent company to a wide range of gaming brands including Top Rank Espana and G Casinos as well as Mecca Bingo, Grosvenor Casinos and Blue Square.