|Rank Group Plc, owner of the Hard Rock Café chain and thirty-six casinos in the UK have announced a stagnation in profits, claiming London’s casino market has ‘yet to revive.’ Results have fallen short of the comparable performance in 2002' at three of its London casinos in the twenty-one weeks after June 30, the company said, and sales and operating profit at casinos outside London rose at a slower pace than in the first half of the year. This is in contrast with the online industry, where profits are going from strength to strength. It seems gamblers are snubbing traditional casinos for the cheaper and more convenient online alternative.|
The company, however, fully expects to benefit from the forthcoming change in British gambling laws, believing deregulation will gi9ve the industry the kick start it needs. Rank shares fell as much as 18.75 pence, or 6.2 percent, to 283 pence. They traded at 284.5 pence at 12:17 p.m. in London.