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Results for the year to 30th June 2017 for Rank Group, owner of Mecca Bingo, Grosvenor and the new Luda brand, have been released and show a stark contrast between high street revenue and digital revenue from its online brands.
The group reported that it was mainly thanks to its UK digital business that it was able to show growth in underlying profit and like-for-like revenue after the second half of the year saw a strong rally.
Although there was a 1 per cent increase in group like-for-like revenue to £754m and adjusted profit before tax grew by 2 per cent to £79.3m, statutory revenues fell slightly from £708.5m to £707.2m and pre-tax profits dropped from £85.5m to £79.7m.
While there was a 1 per cent fall in like-for-like high street revenue to £642.5m for the 12-month period, the group's UK digital business grew operating profit by a massive 63 per cent from £13.9m to £22.7m thanks to a 15 per cent increase in revenue from £96.7m to £111.5m.
Rank Group chief executive Henry Birch commented, "After a challenging first half of our financial year, we are very pleased with our second half performance, especially with our digital business which delivered 63 per cent growth in operating profit for the year."
Birch commented on the roll-out of its new Luda bingo concept following the opening of the first venue in Walsall and is optimistic this will help reverse the fortunes of the high street retail revenues.
He went on: "Additionally, the group has put in place a number of digital, product and venue-based initiatives launching in the current financial year which we expect to drive top line revenues. The new financial year has started well and the board looks to the future with confidence."See what Mecca Bingo online has to offer
We know that many online bingo lovers also enjoy a good slot game, hence many of the new sections you will have noticed around WhichBingo in recent months.
We usually bring you details of how good bet365 Bingo is for its games and promotions, but today we are bringing you news of three new slots that have been added to different sections of the bet365 site.
These new games may be of interest as they are based around popular big screen films and it is always interesting to see how these are interpreted into a slot game format.
On bet365 Vegas you will find Beauty and the Beast. This is a highly styled game showing lush French landscape and a romantic theme. The game includes a Golden Bet feature to increase the chances of landing the free spins on offer.
Over at bet365 Casino you will find the Dirty Dancing slot game and the Robocop game.
Even though Dirty Dancing is 30 years old and Robocop of much the same ere, both are still highly regarded today.
The Dirty Dancing game features clips form the film, including the iconic lift and the in the Robocop game look for you favourite characters on as the reels spin.Find more slots and where to play them
The majority of online bingo operators have a minimum deposit requirement of £10. This means if you try to deposit anything less than £10, it won’t let you. However, there are some sites are starting to allow you to deposit as little as £5, so if you’re not flushed with cash this month, you can still enjoy a bit of bingo.
The most important thing to be aware of when you’re depositing just a fiver, is how this affects any deposit bonuses, particularly if it’s your first ever deposit on the site.
Our £5 minimum deposit bingo sites page has a great selection of online bingo sites that offer you the opportunity to make a £5 first deposit when you join and/or be able to make a redeposit of a minimum of £5 instead of £10. We also make it clear which sites still include the welcome bonuses with the £5 deposit.
Congratulations to Stephanie from Devon for winning the Luxury Hamper from last month's competition, sponsored by Heart Bingo.
Enter our August competition and be in the chance to win a NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, with lots of coffee.Enter our August competition
With all the regulatory changes it was inevitable that some smaller operators would opt to cut their losses with regard to online bingo and exit stage left. The first of these appears to be White Hat Gaming, with notices of closure appearing at NudgeNudge Bingo, Bingo Hour and Bingo Northern Ireland.
Mainstage Bingo was the headline brand for the platform and while this will remain open for slots and casino it will no longer feature the bingo rooms.
At all these sites - and other sites on the platform that actually opened as casino sites - the bingo rooms closed on 2nd August. The brands facing closure will operate for the last time on 24th August 2017.
Support will be available for each site for a limited time and details can be found here.
We are not sure if active customers of the sites were notified directly, but we found a pop-up at the site we visited randomly which informed us of the closures.Get more help with your Mainstage Bingo query
While we are expecting big changes to the way many sites, including Gala Bingo, are going to structure their welcome offers, we believe that this may ultimately be to the benefit of all players at an online bingo site.
Offers are going to be more focussed on allowing you to get to know a site and encourage you to play in a certain way. They will need you to return for the games and enjoyment you have and not for the bonusses that will no longer be available, so it is in their interest to deliver great promos for everyone to enjoy.
Kicking off this strategy we have Gala Bingo giving you the chance to win a UK holiday and a share of some great cash prizes every day until 26th August in their latest £150k giveaway.
You need to opt in just once on the relevant promo page at Gala Bingo and then for every £5 you spend on bingo tickets around the site you receive one entry to the holiday draw the following day. Play in the exclusive Coconut Island bingo room and you will earn double entries to the draw for the same fiver. The number of entries you can earn to each daily draw is unlimited
As ever, Gala Bingo are helping you to 'Play Happy'.Discover more about Gala Bingo
Despite its name this is not a linked bingo game. In fact it is a brand new bingo room you will only find at Mecca Bingo. It might look a bit daunting at first and appear a little complicated. The truth is it is just a 90 ball bingo game with an added prize feature.
In Linka-Balls Bingo you will find six columns at the side of your bingo usual 90 ball bingo tickets. With each numbered ball called, a coloured ball will also drop into one of those columns. If you match three balls of the same colour vertically, horizontally or diagonally, you win a prize. The more colours you match, the more you win.
To promote the new game and celebrate its launch there is a £100k Launch Party under way. Running until 11th August you will enjoy Big Money Sessions every day, a daily Lina-Balls Sharepot for non-winners and there is a £5,000 Linka-Balls Jackpot up for grabs.
From midday to midnight there are guaranteed prizes in every game ranging from £25 to £100 depending on the time of day and the Linka-Balls Jackpot will be won by the player calling bingo in the lowest number of calls during the promotional period.
Give it a try and let us know on the Mecca Bingo reviews page what you think of this new game.See what Mecca Bingo has to offer
While we can't say we are big fans of the charges being made by bgo.com on some deposit methods and for withdrawals, we can't fault the quality of the site and the selection of games on offer.
If you want to be spoiled for choice for slots, casino games and more alongside your online bingo then you might want to take advantage of this exclusive WhichBingo offer.
Register with bgo Bingo and use bonus code 5FREEAUG and get a no deposit £5 bingo bonus. This free fiver is available to all players each and every month by entering the appropriate code for the month, not just to new members.
If you are a new player then be sure to enter code BOSS500 when making your first deposit to qualify for our special 500% bgo bonus. Deposit using the code and spend the £10 on bingo to get a 500% bingo bonus worth £50.
There are loads of bingo rooms to play in, some networked and some exclusive to bgo Bingo, so take your pick with all these great bonuses and check out what the site has to offer.Discover more about bgo Bingo here
When all around us the free bingo bonuses are falling by the wayside due to new tax rules, we would not be doing our duty if we did not let you know about a bingo site that is set to give away a £10 bonus to all its players, new and old.
The online bingo site in question is Sun Bingo and the treat is on site next week, but you have to opt in this week to be sure of qualifying for the bonus.
Even if you join this week and make your first deposit in the next few days you can still get the £10 bonus. It is available to all funded players who opt in and enter the bonus code BONUS by 6th August.
This will be made available as a £1 bingo bonus every day from Monday to Friday, for two weeks 7th – 11th and 14th – 18th August. Each bonus will be available until midnight the day it is applied. The bonus has just 3x wagering.
Just a little something from Sun Bingo to keep the fun flowing.See all that Sun Bingo has to offer
No, that is not a mistake. The name of the slot game that has just been unleashed by Daub onto the sites on its Leapfrog platform is Fluffy Friends - they have not started running third party games like most other bingo and slots sites.
Now this might not be a problem, but looking at Fluffy Friends there are many similarities between it and the similarly titled Fluffy Favourites.
Although the nature of the graphics of the 'Friends' game is not as 'soft' as that of 'Favourites', the 'Fluffies' themselves are remarkably similar in nature. You will find the pink elephants as the wild symbol and providing the access to free spins, although they are not shaking their bottoms at us. There are purple hippos, blue rhinos, pandas, goldfish, tortoises, giraffes, ducks and dragons.
The only real difference is that instead of a 'crane' bonus feature there are dice.
We haven't seen any press release from Daub or owner Stride, but it may be that there has been a licence agreement with Eyecon to develop this similar, but standalone product so that the platform continues with its in-house slot games only, while being able to utilise the credentials of one of the world's top performing games.
Find the game at the download versions of Big Top Casino, Jackpot Liner, Jackpot Cafe or King Jackpot if you want to check this out for yourself.See what King Jackpot has to offer