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Apr
15th

Internet Bingo Stocks Up on Q1 Figures

 

If anyone had any doubts that internet bingo has been the driving force behind the online gaming industry recently posted first quarter figures by several major internet and land based bingo operators should remove all doubts. Last year several sources reported that internet bingo was responsible for the rapid growth of the online gaming industry and was its fastest growing sector. Other sectors of the gaming industry such as poker and Sportsbooks reported declining revenues.

UK gaming giant Ladbrokes reported a 1.2% growth in revenue and poker revenues were down over 32% putting downward pressure on overall revenues. Casino revenue increased by 23.9% and internet bingo revenues were up 18.8% during the first quarter. Online bingo has been the most profitable sector for most online gaming companies. Rank group, which operates Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos across the UK, said revenues from Mecca bingo clubs increased 4%. After the disastrous UK smoking ban in 2007 that emptied bingo halls across the UK Mecca launched an internet bingo operation to remain viable and survive.

Rank experienced a little bit of déjà vu in Spain this year. In January Spain imposed a national smoking ban that caused Rank’s Spanish bingo revenues to fall by 20%. In the UK Rank has figured out a way to thrive in a smoke free environment and recently invested millions in its land based bingo operations in the UK. Despite the challenges Rank faces in the Spanish bingo market the company remains optimistic. A statement released by Rank stated “Despite the challenges facing our businesses, the group remains confident in its prospects for the year and the achievement of its longer-term ambitions.” Ranks first quarter earnings were also boosted by a tax and interest rebate from the UK government totaling 154 million pounds. ($251,107,156.52 USD)

The competition is heating up in the internet bingo industry. Major players have spent millions on television advertising. There is hardly a commercial break on commercial television in the UK with one or more ads for various bingo sites and their perks and promotions. With the royal wedding approaching many internet bingo operators have launched special royal wedding themed promotions. Internet bingo sites are also gearing up for the Easter weekend which is traditionally an important weekend for the internet bingo business. Rank Chief Executive Officer Ian Burke told reporters “Easter is an important weekend in the bingo business.”The strong performance of Rank has attracted the attention of investors. Paul Leyland, an analyst at Investec Plc repeated his “Buy” recommendation on Rank stocks.