The news the last 6 months has all been about how Gala Bingo are struggling, it might be as well then for someone at Gala Coral HQ to take a long hard look at how well Mecca Bingo ‘s parent Rank are doing in contrast when it comes to hauling themselves out of the mire. Mecca Bingo like Gala Bingo have not had the easiest of times and like other bingo firms have had to struggle against low attendance at high street bingo halls, the ridiculously high taxation levied against bingo halls, the recession and a change of player habits from playing bingo on the high street to playing online bingo at home.
The news that Rank’s Mecca Bingo has been doing a lot better comes in a report on the Times Online site and outlines how their performance has gradually been improving, the article goes on to say that financially ‘the pendulum has swung back the way of Rank’. The news was also good for Ladbrokes whose bookmaking division had managed to improve on their finances by going to shareholders for a reported £275m to help reduce the company accumulated debt of £1 billion. Ladbrokes had been struggling, reportedly suffering enormous losses too due to a run of results in the favour of punters, tax issues and of course the current dismal economic climate. The news for Ladbrokes and Mecca Bingo’s parent is particularly refreshing after seeing so many bad news stories in respect of high street gambling institutions, and it is hoped that some – if not Gala included – are now turning a corner.
Gala Bingo is of course in the process of trying to re-structure their debt and there is even gossip doing the rounds that Neil Goulden is set for the high road as the former Chairman of Gala Coral John Kelly, is to return. This report has been dismissed by a Gala Coral source in a further news article published today on the Times Online website. Mr Goulden has been Chairman of the Gala Coral group for almost a year and during this time the Gala Bingo halls have suffered closures and massive job losses. As previously reported at Bingo Hideout Gala Bingo is hoping that by swapping £540m debt for equity that some much needed cash will be injected into the struggling bingo and gaming business, allowing for necessary growth to be achieved.