International edition
June 23, 2021

Mecca bingo halls pull in customers

Rank’s revenue for the first 15 weeks up 2 %

(UK).- British bingo hall and casino operator Rank Group said it saw a strong year ahead after revenue for the first 15 weeks rose 2 %, as customers flocked to its casinos.


he group, which runs the Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos chains, said revenue from its Mecca bingo halls grew 4 % in the period as people spent more per visit.


However, revenue from the company's Spanish bingo business -- Top Rank Espana -- declined 20 % as customers reacted negatively to Spain's smoking ban.


The Spanish government tightened the rules on smoking earlier this year, joining a growing list of nations to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places.


In Belgium, the government plans to implement a full ban on smoking in enclosed public places, including casinos, on July 1.


"Despite the challenges facing our businesses, the group remains confident in its prospects for the year and the achievement of its longer-term ambitions," the company said in a statement.


Last month, Rank received a tax and interest charge rebate worth around 154 million pounds from UK's Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).


Rank shares, which have gained a quarter of their value over the past year, closed at 146.4 pence on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange.


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