Bingo’s online shift revealed by Rank results

Bingo’s online shift revealed by Rank results

Friday, August 21, 2015 Totally Gaming
UK operator unveils spike in digital revenues

The changing face of the UK’s bingo industry has been illustrated by the release of Rank Group’s latest financial results, which have indicated a significant shift towards digital.

The UK’s largest venue-based bingo and casino operator reported a 16-per-cent increase in operating profit excluding exceptional items to £84m (€117m/$132m) in the year through to the end of June.

Rank reported a 21-per-cent increase in online gambling income, while digital customers now represent 12 per cent of the group’s total revenue.

The digital division’s operating profits climbed by 14 per cent to £3.1m despite a 15-per-cent tax on online gambling that has cost Rank £6.6m since it was introduced in December.

However, Rank’s Mecca Bingo brand benefited from a 50-per-cent cut to bingo duty imposed by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in March 2014. Mecca Bingo clubs reported a two-per-cent increase in revenue, while Rank’s Grosvenor Casinos registered an eight-per-cent rise in turnover.

Rank’s total revenue increased by four per cent to £738.3m, while pre-tax profits rose by 19 per cent to £74.1m.

“We firmly believe that alongside growth in digital gambling, there will continue to be sustained demand for venue-based gambling in bingo clubs and casinos which offer an experience that cannot be digitised,” Rank CEO Henry Birch said.

“Moreover, we believe that consumer trends will increasingly favour companies that can offer services across digital and retail channels and successfully offer a joined-up experience to our customers.”

With consolidation being the buzz word in the gaming sector, Birch said back in May that he would not rule out acquisitions in the digital sector.

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