There was good news for English bingo fans on Friday when it was revealed that one of the country’s biggest operators are set to reopen their bingo venues.
Gambling giant the Rank Group has revealed that it will be reopening its Mecca bingo club chain this weekend, according to a market update released on Friday. The gambling group, which includes Britain’s biggest casino chain, Grosvenor, also operates Rank Interactive as the online gambling and betting arm of its business, which has helped it to compensate for losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, that has seen all bingo venues closed since the end of March.
Allowed to open its facilities once again following the announcement of the UK government’s easing of the lockdown, Rank say that they will be employing a wide variety of safety measures across 35 of its bingo clubs when it restarts operations, although 12 will remain closed until at least October while the business assesses their viability. Bingo locations in Wales and Scotland are also closed until their respective regional governments give permission for them to open again.
Announcing the decision in a statement, the company said that they had been working with betting industry trade body, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) and was continuing to engage with the UK government as they worked to secure a date for the reopening of the Grosvenor’s casino venues:
“We will provide a further update when progress can be announced. Our Enracha clubs in Spain started to reopen from 10 June and all are now open.”
The statement also revealed that the Group’s revenues have fallen to around 60% of their pre-pandemic levels, although the digital arm of their business has continued to perform well. They reported that the underlying operating profit to the year ending in June is predicted to be between £48 million and £58 million, though was more likely to be near the lower end of that range.