nother five would be rolled out at a later date, adding to the group's current estate of 35 casinos and 103 bingo halls, a spokesman said. Rank, which also owns the Mecca Bingo hall chain, last week reported casino revenues up 9.3% to us$ 183.5 million for the first half of 2010. Customer visits rose by 15.6%, offsetting a 5.5% fall in average spend per trip.
Ian Burke, Rank's chief executive, said the group would bid for a new casino in Newham – the first under the Government's 2005 plans for eight new large and eight new small casinos.
The gaming boss also called for regulations for the new casinos to be extended to the existing ones, pointing out that Rank's Victoria casino on the Edgware Road is only allowed 20 slot machines – whereas it would be allowed 150 under the new rules.
Over in its bingo halls, Rank has managed to reverse a decade-long decline in visits.
The group, which was badly hit by the smoking ban, said a modernised format and investment in traditional clubs helped customer visits grow 0.4% to 7.52 million.
Rank added that revenues were up at clubs it has refitted to target younger players with a "noisier area" and a new menu. Reported pre-tax profit rose from us$ 42.3 million to us$ 105.7 million after a net us$ 59.9 million gain mainly from a VAT rebate.