A chance to escape the financial doom and gloom may be encouraging some punters to wager a little more at Britain’s bingo halls and casino tables.
That’s what figures from one of the country’s biggest entertainment names seems to show.
While admissions at Mecca Bingo halls fell by 5 per cent over the last 15 weeks, those who did go spent around 5 per cent more, according to the latest figures from owners Rank Group.
And at its Grosvenor Casinos division over the same period while admissions declined 12 per cent spend per head rose by 16 PER CENT.
But figures for the full year to November — with the full effect of the smoking ban and a change in laws on big jackpot machines at bingo halls — show a much more gloomy picture.
Like-for-like revenue dropped by 11 per cent, as did admissions, and spend per head was up a measly 1 per cent — well below the rate of inflation.
Company bosses said they hoped to see a boost in trading at Mecca Bingo halls from the introduction of more high stakes jackpot machines allowed under new rules introduced last month.
Online bingo was one of few bright spots in Rank’s results — with profits up 1 per cent year-on-year.