Brexit Won’t Hurt UK Betting Giant Rank

Rank Group not fazed by Brexit.

Grosvenor Casinos owner The Rank Group might have missed out on a deal with William Hill but it’s confident Brexit won’t affect its business. (Image: rank.com)

Fears that Brexit would negatively affect the iGaming industry in the UK appear to be unfounded; at least that’s the recent verdict from the Rank Group.

The British casino operator has stated that the country’s impending exit from the European Union (EU) will have little to no impact on its financial forecasts going forward.

Between its casino interests with Grosvenor and Mecca Bingo, the Rank Group has become one of the largest operators in the UK.

Business Model Offers Natural Protection

Because it has limited exposure to non-sterling earnings, Rank will be sheltered from the majority of currency fluctuations that will mark the departure from Europe.   

However, as much as its core business appears to be robust enough to avoid any shockwaves Brexit may cause, Rank bosses did admit that a drop in consumer spending could hit its bottom-line.

Before the June 23 EU election the rhetoric from “In” campaigners suggested that a split from Europe would cause people to stop spending money on so-called leisure activities.

What appears to have transpired since the country’s decision to leave, however, is an increase in spending.

In fact, July saw UK retail outlets enjoy a 1.4 percent increase in spending. With tourists taking advantage of the unusually weak pound and British shoppers seemingly unfazed by the referendum’s result, those in the retail and leisure sectors are confident that Brexit’s impact will be minimal.

These figures, coupled with Rank’s strong base in the UK, appear to be the reason for the operator’s positive outlook. Of course, the company may also be trying to save face after it had two takeover bids rejected by William Hill.

The proposed deal, which included 888, would have made the trio of operators a veritable powerhouse on the European betting scene.

Unfortunately, the offers proposed by Rank/888 were well below William Hill’s expectations and were rejected outright.

Gambling Charity’s Conflict of Interest

In other UK gambling news this week, the nation’s latest gambling awareness charity has been accused of a serious conflict of interest.

The Young Gamblers Education Trust has been in operation for two years thanks to an initiative by reformed gambling addict Lee Willows.

After initially launching as a private company, the organisation earned charitable status in early 2016. Helping organise the charity’s finances and raise funds is a board of trustees, two of which come from the gambling industry.

The involvement of Dan Waugh, a partner at a gambling consultancy and Dan Rough, the founder of an online scratchcard firm, has caused some to speak out against the organisation.

“The presence of gambling executives and industry lobbyists within the charity is very concerning and in my view represents a serious conflict of interest,” said Rethink Gambling’s Simon Perfitt.

The Young Gamblers Education Trust has defended its board by explaining that it’s compromised of people from a variety of backgrounds. However, with the protection of players very much a hot topic on the UK gambling scene at the moment, this might not be enough for some of the charities recent donors.

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