After the very hot summer of 2013, it appears that Mecca Bingo clubs who suffered during the period did not make a comeback in the Autumn months. Profits were down 38% on the same period in the previous year which is a considerable amount.
Owners the Rank Group, also showed a 26% drop in profits for their Grosvenor Casinos, so it would be an understatement to say that overall their land based operations have not done too well across the board. Bingo taxation cannot be blamed for the drop, as the profits are pre-tax figures, and probably indicate a loss in footfall as players continue to feel the ‘economic pinch’.
Rank’s overall figures were up by 16% which may be attributed to their players staying in, but instead playing bingo at the Mecca Bingo site and table games at the Grosvenor Casino website.
With such a loss of profits from Mecca Bingo halls Rank must obviously be wondering about their long-term viability, although they are probably waiting to see what happens with bingo taxation, as although there have been hints at legislative change, nothing concrete has occurred.
The proposed inline alteration of both online and offline taxation at a 15% rate, with online players being taxed by their playing location not the location of the operator would have an impact. Rank would be losing online revenue, however the land based bingo net revenue would increase (I’d hate to be given the job of providing an accurate forecast for that eventuality!).
It looks like Rank, like the bingo industry as a whole, will probably be going through a ‘wait and see’ period for the next few months, and, praying that the economy picks up and that we don’t have another truly excellent summer. Original article.