A few days ago, the British gambling giant Rank Group published its latest market update, confirming that its Mecca bingo clubs in England were to open as of July 4th.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the brand has made a decision to resume operations at the gambling venues following the Government’s policy to ease the Covid-19 shutdown measures for local businesses, allowing them to restart operation. Under the latest phase of the measures’ relaxation, museums, cinemas, pubs, restaurants, hotels and bingo halls have been allowed to reopen following a closure of more than three months due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Right before the more relaxed measures of the Government to take place, the Rank Group confirmed it is to reopen 35 of its Mecca Bingo halls in England. The gambling company further revealed that 30 more venues are expected to open in a phased approach in July and August, including bingo premises in Wales in Scotland, as soon as their Governments allow that.
The Rank Group also explained that the remaining 12 bingo venues will be closed until October 2020, and in the meantime, the company is set to assess their viability. According to the gambling operator, it may be forced to restructure some of the cost base and format of these bingo venues in order to allow them to reopen, including reconsideration and renegotiation of the premises’ rents.
Digital Operations of the Group on the Rise, Rank Group Reports
The gambling operator has confirmed that extensive social distancing measures and signage would be in place, with colleague-controlled entry and exit, along with thorough cleaning of all surfaces within the premises, including gaming slot machines and gaming tables. Customers would have access to hand sanitiser before entering the venue and while being in it.
The company explained that it is continuing to work in collaboration with the new trade body of the industry, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), and remains engaged with talks to the Government as the Group is willing to secure a date for the reopening of its Grosvenor’s casino estate. The Rank Group said that it would provide further updates on the casino reopening whenever there is some progress on the matter.
In its latest market update, the gambling operator said that its Enracha clubs situated in Spain started to resume operations as of June 10th and all of them are currently open. The Group shared that its revenues have been at about 60% of the levels before the coronavirus outbreak, with its online gambling business still trading well.
The digital arm of the Rank Group delivered aggregate 17% revenue increase in the fourth fiscal quarter on a proforma basis, despite the additional due diligence and safe gambling measures that had to be implemented by Stride’s proprietary brands in correspondence with the policy of the Rank Group. The British gambling operator further projected that its underlying operating profit for the 12-month period ending on June 30th, 2020 would be at the lower end of the previously projected range of £48 million to £58 million because of the venues reopening costs paid by the company.