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Elderly bingo players aren’t returning to venues says Mecca boss

It’s no secret that bingo halls have been packed to the rafters with older generations for many years. Some visiting their local bingo hall to enjoy a few games in the hope of one day hitting the jackpot and others purely enjoying the social aspect. However, since bingo venues have begun re-opening, many older players are no longer returning, making the average age of bingo audiences, drop. 

60% drop in over 70s

 Since the re-opening of venues, Mecca have seen a 60% drop in the number of over 70s attending. This is thought to be mainly due to older players being more fearful of contracting Covid and shielding at home. This has resulted in a much younger average player age.  Despite the huge drop in the number of over 70s, there has in fact been an increase in the number of younger players attending venues, as bingo revenue is up to 70% compared to last year.Mecca CEO, John O’Reilly said: “Inevitably the impact of Covid on older people has meant our older customers have been more reticent in coming back to Mecca. Some are staying away, but those who have come to play are coming back as they’ve been impressed by the safety measures we’ve put in place. Other age groups have been much more confident in coming back and we’re pleased by the levels we’ve seen recently.” 

Revenue and profit

 The pandemic has had a huge impact on the gambling industry. The Rank Group, which owns Mecca and Grosvenor Casinos, have seen revenues drop by 15% and pre-tax profit fall by two thirds to £9.4 million. London in particular has seen the biggest fall as tourism and workers in the city has been at an all-time low with revenue at just 40% on the previous year. The company is making encouraging progress through and bosses are aware it will be a steady growth and increase to get back to pre-pandemic numbers.