The Mecca Bingo owner, Rank Group, announced it intends to reopen all England Mecca Bingo locations in May. The operator hopes this will offset the significant losses it has experienced during the last three quarters.
Rank Group reported a 76% decrease in its net gaming revenue between the start of 2020’s third quarter and the end of March 2021. The brick-and-mortar Mecca Bingo halls in the UK were closed due to strict COVID-19 restrictions. The nine Spanish locations open under strict capacity limitations offset some of the losses, but not nearly all of them.
The UK government has released its procedure for ending the lockdown, and it will allow Mecca Bingo to reopen on May 17. The company behind it hopes this will bring back at least some of its sales, which suffered a 98% drop in Q3 2020, on top of a 3% digital sales drop year-over-year. Fortunately, Rank’s experts predict that online revenues will recover their year-on-year growth in 2021 since the company is focused on expanding its digital operation.
“Our business has inevitably been heavily impacted by the pandemic but, with the strong support and dedication of our colleagues, we are now very much looking forward to reopening our casino and bingo venues, welcoming back our customers and providing the great entertainment and omnichannel service in a COVID-safe environment we know they enjoy,” said John O’Reilly, Rank Group’s CEO.
Rank Group’s other biggest earner, Grosvenor Casinos, also suffered a 2% drop in online revenue. On the other hand, Mecca Bingo’s online platform reported a 4% sales increase within the previous three months, which came as no surprise since it does have one of the best mobile bingo sites in the UK.
Earlier this year, Rank predicted that the full recovery of its venues would not happen before the middle of 2022. This projection comes on the heels of a £59.4 million pre-tax loss in the last six months of 2020, as opposed to its £48.2 million in profit for the same period in 2019. Hopefully, the Mecca Bingo reopenings across the country will provide some relief.