Rank to begin phased reopening of Mecca venues on 4 July 

Rank Group has announced that it will begin the ‘phased reopening’ of its Mecca Bingo venues operating across England from 4 July. 

In accordance with the government’s public safety measures, 36 Mecca venues will reopen on 4 July across England, as Rank re-establishes its retail footprint having been forced to close all gambling venues from mid-March as the UK entered national lockdown. 

Rank ensured that all Mecca premises have been ‘covid proofed’ ahead of reopening, with all staff undertaking rigorous training to ensure public safety, venue sanitary standards and the upkeep of social distancing rules. 

Facilitating Mecca’s reopening, Rank detailed that it will push customers towards using contactless payment methods and venue apps for placing food orders.

Jonathon Swaine, Managing Director of Retail at Mecca Bingo, said: “We want to reassure the Mecca Bingo community that we are working together to take every precaution necessary to create a safe environment in which to play the nation’s favourite game. 

“We’re also investing in new entertainment formats in our clubs, to give everyone even better experiences. We are excited to reopen our doors, welcome back our communities and hear ‘House’ called once again.” 

Further to its statement, Rank management explained that it is awaiting further guidance from Welsh and Scottish governments to allow the company to reopen all 86 of its UK Mecca Bingo properties.

Last week, Boris Johnson announced the government’s easing of lockdown rules on leisure businesses (pubs, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and hairdressers) – in which casinos featured on its excluded list of businesses pending further government approval. 

The government’s decision to maintain casinos under lockdown orders has been criticised by Rank CEO John O’Reilly, who issued a public statement demanding that the government clarifies its judgement.

In his statement,  O’Reilly underlined that Rank’s commitment to maintaining its entire workforce had been undermined by the government ‘maintaining casinos in the sidelines’.

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