In an effort to alter the demographic of bingo hall players, the Rank Group, owners of the Mecca Bingo chain, have over the past few years been investing in its ‘Full House’ concept. The idea was a simple one, make the venues ‘young person friendly’, and a younger audience will be attracted.
The conversions of the ‘test’ bingo halls included innovations such as the creating of electric gaming areas where younger people could socialise whilst their cards were being electronically marked, enabling them to play bingo and natter at the same time.
Unfortunately, it appears that the move hasn’t paid off, and owners Rank have decided not to pump any more capital into conversions. In total, nine of the ninety seven venues have been converted over the past four years. But, profits have actually decreased in contrast with a rise in digital profits.
We don’t have the revenue figures for the converted clubs, but they would be interesting to see, as would be the details of exactly how the converted clubs’ marketing was actively directed at the younger target audience.
Luckily for bingo, Rank’s casino arm of the operation, Grosvenor Casinos, has actually seen good revenue increases of late, so this may provide a bit of a buffer that should forestall any bingo club closures. Fingers crossed, as we don’t really want to see any more bingo halls being bought out and converted into outlets for cheap ‘sell by date’ beer.