A strong winter performance at Rank Group's Mecca Bingo Clubs in Scotland failed to off-set the damaging effects of the country's smoking ban.
In an interim trading statement today the leisure group said during the first 12 months after the ban's start, turnover from Mecca Bingo dropped 17% on a like-for-like basis, with admissions down 10% and spend per head down 7%.
Although during the winter months spend per head recovered to near pre-ban levels admissions remained down.
In response the group opened its first bingo club with a sheltered outdoor gaming area in Dundee last month, of which is plans to open more.
Grosvenor Casinos, which in March won a licence to operate a casino in Southend-on-Sea in Essex, saw turnover increase 3% like-for-like in the 16 weeks ended 22 April. Admissions were down 6% but spend per head up 10%.
Overall, group turnover on a like-for-like basis was 3% ahead of the year before in the first half of its full financial year.
By Chris Druce
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