|Online and land-based British gaming giant Rank has announced that overall revenues for the first 17 weeks of the year dropped by eight percent on a like-for-like basis compared to last year due to the effects of the English and Welsh smoking bans and the loss of Section 21 gaming terminals.|
However, it also stated that like-for-like revenues from its Blue Square interactive business rose by ten percent while its Spanish operations saw a seven percent gain. Rank said that the improvement in Spain was down to the strength of the Euro with actual spending per head remaining static and admissions decreasing by two percent.
“Our games products and in particular MeccaBingo.com performed strongly in the period but revenues from our sportsbook business was lower, reflecting the increasingly competitive nature of the UK sports betting market,” read a statement from Rank.
“As anticipated, the effects of the smoking ban and adverse changes to gaming regulations resulted in lower levels of group revenues compared with the first 17 weeks in 2007.
“However, we have experienced a modest improvement in average weekly revenue levels compared with the final four months of 2007, the period immediately following the implementation of the Gambling Act 2005, and cost-saving initiatives have strengthened the group's profit performance.
“Having taken action to address our cost base, our objective is to return the group to revenue growth. We are focused on growing the number of visits to our businesses by rewarding loyal customers, reaching out to engage with newcustomers and raising standards of service and product for all customers.”