UK – Grosvenor Casinos owner The Rank Group has today provided a business update and trading statement in regards to the ongoing pandemic, including how it acted swiftly and decisively to mitigate the economic impact towards its venues businesses. The firm stated:
‘The short-term economic impact to our venues businesses has been significant, but we have acted swiftly and decisively to mitigate where appropriate.
Across our UK venues and support offices, circa 7,000 colleagues, out of a UK workforce of 7,600, have been furloughed. Where relevant, Rank has topped up the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme so that all colleagues in furlough will receive 80% of their salary.
The executive and non-executive directors have volunteered a 20% reduction in salaries and fees with effect from 1 April for as long as our colleagues are in furlough.
The positive cash impact of the UK’s CJRS, and similar schemes in Spain and Belgium, will be approximately £8m per month.’
The Rank Group, which was involved in the cinema and motion picture industry until 2006, said that it is benefiting from the business rates holiday to the tune of £1 million per month and that discussions are ongoing on how the company can reduce the cash outflow with its landlords and suppliers.
According to the report to the London Stock Exchange today, the company outlined how it has responded to the UK Government’s call for contributions to the national effort. It stated:
‘The Rank Group’s Board and our colleagues are conscious of the need to contribute to the wider societal effort at this time of national crisis.
Our customers know that our venues are community hubs and far more than just places to gamble, and our non-furloughed colleagues have stepped up to ensure we are able to use our venues, wherever and however possible within Government guidelines, to support key workers and vulnerable people in our communities.
We have launched a new charity initiative in collaboration with Blue Light Card, the UK’s number one discount service for the NHS, Emergency Services, Social Care workers and Armed Forces.
Rank colleagues are providing free meals to these key workers from some of our UK venues’ kitchens.
We are also collaborating with a number of MPs and local councils to ensure whatever capacity we have in our kitchens is maximised to provide vulnerable people, including the homeless and elderly, with hot meals, cooked in Rank venues and distributed by our teams.
Our colleagues are also calling our regular Mecca customers to check in on their wellbeing.
We are acutely aware of the need for heightened vigilance in identifying any signs of gambling-related harm in our digital business, and have redoubled our safer gambling efforts, incorporating the Betting & Gaming Council’s ’10 pledge action plan’ and bolstering resource in our safer gambling teams.’
Chief executive officer of The Rank Group John O’Reilly commented on the details of the statement:
“With the tremendous support we have received from HM Treasury and HMRC, together with our own mitigations, we have established a robust financial position to address and withstand an extended period of economic turmoil.
Given the uncertainty we face and continued social distancing measures likely to be in place for some time to come, we continue to work to protect cash and to prepare for the reopening of our venues in as safe a way as possible.
I am enormously proud of our colleagues and how they have responded to the decisions we have had to take as well as their selfless response and contribution to the national effort.
We know how important our venues are in many local communities and we’ve answered the call to contribute by stepping up to help those who need it most right now.”
The Rank Group currently operates 56 Grosvenor Casinos in the UK and 96 Mecca Bingo clubs; two of the largest gaming brands on the United Kingdom’s high street.