Youth Marketing Pays Off Big For UK Bingo Operator

Gaming giant Rank Group reported positive figures for the six months leading up to December 2011 and one company source said the strong performance has continued into this year. Rank credits the influx of younger players for the astounding increase in revenues. Rank operates a chain of Mecca bingo halls in the UK and also has operations in Spain. In addition to bingo halls Mecca has a prominent presence in the online bingo industry. Mecca entered the internet bingo industry shortly after the imposition of a national smoking ban that literally emptied bingo halls throughout the UK. Other land based operators such as Gala turned to internet bingo to survive and remain competitive.

Mecca has been in the forefront of the UK bingo industry since the 1960’s. The company employs over 3,000 workers at its Mecca bingo halls and Grosvenor casino chain. Mecca has some of the most impressive credentials of anyone in the bingo industry and a stellar reputation among players. Currently Rank is in talks with another UK bingo giant, Gala. Rank wants to acquire Gala Coral’s casino operations and Gala has indicated that the company wants to focus on its profitable bingo operations.  Like Mecca Gala has a significant internet bingo presence.

During the first week of February of this year Rank said that its attempts to appeal to the younger generation had been successful and said that players in the 25 to 35 age bracket accounted for most of the company’s growth in 2011. Rank’s bingo halls attracted about 50,000 new players in 2011 and the Grosvenor casino chain saw an increase of 61,000 players. Currently Mecca bingo has about 750,000 regular players. Rank’s chief executive Ian Burke says that there is even more opportunity in the youth market for bingo. Rank may get more good news after the European Court of Justice found that Rank has overpaid millions in VAT taxes. Rank may recover as much as £275 million from the government.

Mecca has already spent million revamping some of its bingo halls to appeal to younger players. In one location the club is divided into two parts separated by a glass wall. On one side is a lounge with soft lighting and candles on the table and on the other side there is a formal bingo hall. Many players interviewed in the press said that the new club was more fun and less expensive than a night out in a pub. It appears that Rank’s marketing strategy is paying off handsomely for the company.