Pugh back in gambling as Mecca MD

Pugh back in gambling as Mecca MD

Friday, December 19, 2014 Totally Gaming

Martin Pugh is to return to the gambling industry as managing director of Mecca Bingo from the start of 2015.

Pugh was the managing director of UK national lottery operator Camelot UK Lotteries for five years until 2011, having joined the company as marketing director from Pizza Hut in January 2006. Since then he has been managing director of health company Virgin Active and, most recently, chief executive of technology firm Adpoints.

According to various reports, Pugh will now joing the Rank Group subsidiary as replacement for Mark Jones, who has become managing director of another Rank division, Grosvenor Casinos.

Henry Birch, Rank Group chief executive and interim managing director of Mecca, said: “Rank is already one of the industry leaders in bingo, and with Martin’s wealth of experience in not only gambling but also marketing and leisure, I am confident that he will help us to bring gaming based entertainment to an even wider audience.” 

While at Camelot, Pugh was responsible for the company's retail sales division and ecommerce channels, NPD and marketing, but while he said his departure said it was “a good time to seek a new challenge” it coincided with chief executive Dianne Thompson’s announcement that she would stay in situ for up to another four years.

Pugh is tasked with driving profit growth through Mecca’s 93 retail clubs, as well as looking for opportunities to open three new clubs. He will also be working closely with Rank’s group director of digital and cross-channel services Colin Cole-Johnson, to ensure Mecca maximises the potential of its multi-channel offering. 

In its most recent trading announcement, in October 2014, Rank said that Mecca’s like-for-like quarterly revenues were up one percent, with total brand revenue flat year-on-year. Digital revenue was up four percent in the same period.

At the time, Birch said: “The Group has had a good start to the financial year and I am pleased with the improvements seen in our Grosvenor Casinos brand, particularly in its digital channel, and the actions to strengthen the performance of our Mecca brand are showing some positive signs.”

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