International edition
September 20, 2020

It considers that smoking ban is a problem for bingo operators

UK: Rank sells off bingo clubs

(UK).- Gaming company Rank has put almost 10% of its Mecca bingo clubs estate up for sale as part of its efforts to prepare for the impending smoking ban in England.

B

ingo halls earmarked for sale are spread across England, from South Shields in the north to Andover in the south.

They are the clubs that Rank considers would be the most adversely affected when the smoking ban comes into force in England in July.

In Scotland, where a ban was introduced in March last year, revenues at Rank’s bingo halls have dropped 17%. The company is preparing to sell about 10 of its 103 units. Its planned disposals follow Rank’s announcement in February that it would close nine sites before the ban took effect.

The smoking ban is a problem for bingo operators because they make most of their profits from people playing machines during breaks in the main bingo game. When smoking is outlawed, punters will go outside for a cigarette during the break rather than staying indoors and playing machines.

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