Rank had written to HM Treasury earlier this year in October in advance of the UK government's pre-budget report, calling on the level of bingo duty to be reduced to 15%, in harmony with most other forms of betting and gaming in the UK.
The company claimed that at least 20 licensed British bingo clubs had been closed in the five months following this year's 2009 Budget, when the government increased the rate of bingo duty from 15 % to 22 %.
In his pre-budget report to Parliament this week, Darling confirmed that bingo duty would be reduced by only 2 %, despite the efforts of Rank and other industry supporters who argued for even further reductions. "I can also tell the House that, from the Budget, I will cut bingo duty from 22 to 20 %," Darling told Parliament this afternoon.
Shares in Rank Group plc have dropped back to 79.60 pence per share in London, having jumped 2.8% to 81.20 pence immediately following the announcement.