Heat Wave Causes Losses for Mecca Bingo Owners

  • 24 Aug 13
  • Written by Deena Chance

altIt was recently announced that Ladbrokes – one of the UK’s most well-known bookies – experienced a significant slump in its profits this summer, and it was all down to the unexpected heat-wave. The operator reported a 20% plummet in sales as a result of fewer visitors to its betting shops during July 2013. Now, the second operator to experience the same issue has stepped forward and it’s none other than the Mecca Bingo parent company – Rank Group. Rank Group, who are Britain’s biggest casino operator as well as the owners of Mecca Bingo , say that the July heat-wave “adversely” affected its trading in the first part of its new financial year, which started on 1st July 2013. Ladbrokes were the first operator to use this excuse for their poor performance in the same time period when it claimed fewer customers using its Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) led to less-than-expected sums going into the company coffers. Rank Group however, have reported a 7% increase in revenue for the first twelve months up to 30th June 2013, although their annual pre-tax profit dropped by just over £2m from the previous year.

Rank’s chief executive, Ian Burke, says the result is “solid” and was achieved despite a “tough economic environment and a competitive market. It was only earlier this year that Rank became Britain’s largest operator following their acquisition of nineteen land-based casinos from Gala Coral.

Mecca Bingo only managed to raise Rank’s revenues by a tiny 1% as although their online revenues showed strong growth, the performance of their land-based clubs was decidedly “disappointing.” Visitor numbers to Mecca Bingo halls over the year fell to 13.6m – a significant decrease from the 14.4m that came through the doors over the previous year.

Mr. Burke says that the company will now need to quicken its pace of innovation in a bid to encourage players to come back to the clubs.

While the spectacular weather we saw in July may have adversely affected for certain leisure companies such as Ladbrokes and Rank, the majority of the general public took to the shops (both online and in the high street), purchasing the likes of barbecues, padding pools, fans, and garden furniture, resulting in a 1.1% boost in British retail sales.

Did any of our readers still go to their local halls during the hot weather? If so, what would it take to prevent you from getting to enjoy your favourite hobby?

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