Mecca Bingo

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Mecca Bingo
TypeLimited company
HeadquartersMaidenhead, Berkshire, England
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
John O'Reilly
ProductsBingo clubs
Revenue£221.5m (2015/16)
£32.9m (2015/16)
ParentThe Rank Group

Mecca Bingo (formerly called Top Rank) is a UK-based company and operator of 76 bingo clubs located in major towns and cities. Mecca Bingo is owned by The Rank Group, which operates bingos, casinos and online gambling in Belgium, Spain and the UK. Rank Group also own Grosvenor Casinos and Enracha. Mecca Bingo was established in 1961, and its headquarters is in Maidenhead.[1] An extension of the Mecca Bingo brand includes and a number of mobile apps. Mecca Bingo is the largest National Bingo Game operator in the UK.

As of June 2015, Mecca Bingo’s revenue was recorded at £224.4 million, with an operating profit of £28.9 million.[2] The Rank Group reports there are one million customers who visit Mecca each year, with £65.2 million revenue generated from digital. The Mecca network currently employs more than 11,000 people across the UK.[3] Their halls host traditional and electronic versions of bingo, including slot-style games. Mecca are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.


Eric Morley, British TV host and founder of the Miss World pageant, is accredited with popularising the game of bingo in the United Kingdom during the early sixties, as a tactic to fill the UK’s dance halls. In 1952, he was Mecca's general manager of dancing, and was made a director in 1953. With Mecca, Morley helped to popularise bingo which was played at Mecca venues throughout the United Kingdom. He changed the company from a small catering and dancing firm into a leading entertainment and catering company in the UK. A director of the company from 1953 up until 1978, Morley left the business after a disagreement with its then parent company, Grand Metropolitan.[4]

In 1990, the Rank Organisation made an offer of £512m to acquire Mecca Leisure Group. This was initially rejected, then accepted two months later.[5] In 2007, Mecca Bingo and its parent company suffered significant losses, attributed to the implementation of the smoking ban in the UK. Rank shut nine Mecca Bingo clubs, with 230 people losing their jobs.[6] In 2015, Mecca Bingo launched a marketing campaign featuring a twerking cactus. The campaign adverts helped to increase Mecca’s digital sales by 18 per cent, year on year, in the 20 weeks to 17 May.[7]

In 2022 Mecca Bingo partnered with Britain’s Got Talent and became the UK TV show's official bingo partner.[8] The deal will allow Mecca Bingo to produce Britain’s Got Talent-themed bingo games for their online offering and in-person venues.[9]


On 25 December 1997, members of the Muslim community in Luton, Bedfordshire, were outraged by a local bingo hall changing its name from ‘Top Rank’ to ‘Mecca,’ which is also the name of the holiest Islamic city. Protesters, angered by the link between the holy city and the practice of gambling, which is forbidden in Islam, threw bricks through the bingo hall’s windows, causing £3000 of damage.[10] Subsequently company management said the 'Mecca' name would be dropped from the bingo hall as a result of the unrest and offence caused.[11] However as of 2018, some 21 years on, the company's own branch locator on their website confirms that the Mecca brand is still being used in Luton.

In December 2015, Mecca Bingo was ordered to forfeit nearly £1 million after allowing a woman to spend up to £50,000 a month on her gambling addiction.[12]


Mecca Bingo was awarded ‘Bingo Operator of the Year’ at the 2016 International Gaming Awards.[13] It won the same award in 2014 and 2015, with Rank Group also winning ‘Socially Responsible Operator of the Year Land Based’.[14][15]

Mecca Bingo won two awards at the 2016 EGR Innovation and Marketing Awards:[16] ‘Best Native App’ and ‘Innovation in Bingo’ for their Emoji Bingo game – an App that swaps bingo balls for emojis.

In 2017 Mecca Bingo won WhichBingo awards for Best Customer Services and Most Socially Responsible, along with the EGR award for Best Mobile Bingo Product.


  1. ^ "Our Business - Rank Group Plc". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  2. ^ "Mecca - Rank Group Plc". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  3. ^ "Meet the man trying to breathe new life into bingo". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  4. ^ "The Long History Of Mecca Bingo". 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  5. ^ "The Rank Group plc - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on The Rank Group plc". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  6. ^ Kollewe, Julia (2007-03-03). "Mecca Bingo halls struggle in face of all-out smoking ban". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  7. ^ "This is how a dancing cactus has helped boost business at Mecca bingo". 2015-05-21. Archived from the original on 2022-05-12. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  8. ^ "Britain's Got Talent Bingo". Retrieved 1 April 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Mecca Bingo Enters Partnership Deal with Britain's Got Talent". 31 March 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Mecca bingo hall outrages Muslims". 1998-01-07. Archived from the original on 2022-05-12. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  11. ^ "Mecca bingo hall drops name after Muslim protests". BBC. 1998-01-14. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  12. ^ "Bets pay off for Mecca bingo owner Rank Group". Retrieved 2016-09-12. (subscription required)
  13. ^ "IGA Winners 2016". 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  14. ^ "IGA Winners 2014". 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  15. ^ "IGA Winners 2015". 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  16. ^ "Winners". Retrieved 2016-09-12.

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