A lack of international tourism and restrictions on London’s night time economy have put a dampener on Rank Group’s performance according to a trading update published by the company.
While current trading is “in line with management expectations”, Rank highlighted a disparity between its Grosvenor Casinos based outside of London and those within the capital city. The group noted that the like for like net gaming revenue at the casinos outside of London “is close to 2019 levels”.
Meanwhile those situated within London had been affected by “the lack of international tourism, significantly reduced numbers of office workers in the city and the ongoing late night travel challenges for consumers”, which has led to a 38% decrease in NGR.
Average weekly NGR for its Grosvenor venues was down 17% on 2019’s figures, totalling £5.5 million, while average weekly NGR for its Mecca venues amounted to £2.6m – marking a 20% drop.
While the group recognised that it is still very early days, trading at its Mecca venues has proved to be strongest in the venues where the company is trialling elements of a new proposition, which includes enhancements to the mainstage bingo game.
On average, weekly net gaming revenue for the six weeks after the reopening of its venues was £8.6 million on a like-for-like basis, a 19% drop when compared to the same period in 2019.
Performance in Rank’s digital businesses in Q4 is expected to be at a level between that achieved in Q2 and Q3 of this financial year.
Rounding off the update, Rank highlighted that the UK first-tier tax tribunal ruled in its favour of its claim to be refunded VAT paid on slot machine income in the period from April 2006 to January 2013.