Rank Group Calls for Land-Based Casino Level-Playing Field

A leading land-based casino operator in the UK urged authorities to overhaul existing legislation to eliminate fragmentation of casino rules which impacted the company’s performance.

‘New Baseline of Gambling Regulations’

Rank Group, the operator of Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo venues in the UK, disclosed as part of its financial year 2020/2021 report that its governance had submitted recommendations to the government for a modernization of land-based casino rules through the introduction of secondary legislation.

Our long-standing promise to excite and to entertain our customers and to do so safely remains our core purpose.”

John O’Reilly, CEO, Rank Group

The operator of 52 land-based casino properties across the UK, which posted £93 million ($126.7 million) in statutory losses for the financial year ended June 30, 2021, after having its properties shut for the majority of the 12 months due to national lockdowns, urged the government to consider the radical overhaul as part of its ongoing review of the Gambling Act 2005.

The Government’s current review of gambling legislation provides a once in a generation opportunity to deliver the much-needed modernisation of existing land-based gambling regulations which date back over fifty years and impose unnecessary restrictions on our ability to meet the needs of today’s consumers.”

John O’Reilly, CEO, Rank Group

The ongoing review of the gambling law, which began in December of last year, is set to bring major changes to the industry, including a total ban on VIP schemes for operators, but what concerns Rank is the existing fragmentation under which some land-based casinos are licensed under the 1968 Act, while other venues received their licenses under the 2005 Gambling Act, creating a disparity between operators.

Having 51 out of its 52 casinos licensed under the 1968 Act and hence limited to 20 slot machines, compared to a limit of 80 for properties licensed under the 2005 Gambling Act, Rank is calling on the government to establish a “new baseline of gambling regulations” for all land-based casinos by adopting the more liberal provisions of the Gambling Act 2005.

Stake Limits Ease and Cashless Payments

Further, the operator of Grosvenor Casinos called on the government to ease regulations regarding stake limits on table games operated by random number generation (RNG) to allow players to set these individually, as well as to speed up cashless payment implementation as a response to changing consumer habits.

Rank Group also noted in the recommendations that, while the government is focusing to reform primarily online gambling rules, a balance between the regulation for land-based venues and online operators is needed to ensure UK consumers are well protected.

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