Mecca Leisure Group

Mecca Leisure Group was founded in 1933 and has since become an institution in the UK. While it no longer exists, many people will still know Mecca Bingo which provides bingo in establishments across the country, as well as online. The Mecca Leisure Group owned a range of businesses during its time including bingo parlours, hotels, nightclubs, theme parks and the famous Hard Rock Cafes.

Mecca Leisure Group

The History of Mecca Leisure Group

When it was first established in the 1930s by Carl L. Hermann and Byron Davies, it was known as the Mecca Agency Limited and was focused on providing dance halls across the country. The first bingo club was opened in the 60s in Rosehill, and the bingo games were incorporated into the dance halls across the country to increase turnout. This is when Mecca first became a name synonymous with bingo in the UK.

The Rank Organisation bought the Mecca Leisure Group in 1990 for £512 million. They still currently own Mecca Bingo. Unfortunately, Mecca bingo halls saw a significant drop in attendance after the 2007 smoking ban was introduced and nine bingo halls were closed. Other companies owned by The Rank Group include:

  • Mecca Bingo
  • Grosvenor Casinos
  • Stride Gaming
  • Rank Interactive
  • Rank Espana
  • Enracha

Mecca Bingo online was launched in 2000 and has become one of the main pillars of the business. All of the fan-favourite bingo games can be accessed online via a desktop PC and also a mobile device. Slot games are also a staple on the site and all of the biggest and best software developers can be found here.


Mecca Leisure Group Venues

Mecca Leisure Group venues could be found across the UK and while some have closed over the years as online bingo becomes more popular, many are still available to visit today.

Venue Location Open Date Closing Date
Locarno Ballroom Basildon 1961
Blackpool Mecca Blackpool 1965
Locarno Ballroom Burnley 1962 1996
Mecca Locarno Coventry
Locarno Ballroom Glasgow 1926
Mecca Locarno Ballroom Leeds 1938
Locarno Liverpool 1948
Ilford Palais London
Hammersmith Palais London 1919 2007
Lyceum Theatre London 1834
Mecca Dance Hall Tottenham London 1910 2004
Sherwood Rooms Nottingham 1957 1984
Southampton Royal Pier Southampton 1963 1979
Stockport Plaza Stockport 1965
Locarno Ballroom Swindon 1952

Mecca Bingo

Mecca Bingo was formed in 1961 and has over 70 bingo clubs across the UK as well as the online brand that allows players to access bingo and slots games on the go. There is also a downloadable Mecca Bingo app on iOS and Android devices. The brand is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and is the largest operator of the UK National Bingo Game. Around one million people visit Mecca every year and 11,000 people are employed by the company.

Mecca Bingo has won an array of awards over the years including:

  • 2014, 2015 and 2016 – ‘Bingo Operator of the Year’ at the International Gaming Awards
  • 2014, 2015 and 2016 – ‘Socially Responsible Operator of the Year Land Based’ for the Rank Group at the International Gaming Awards
  • 2016 – ‘Best Native App’ and ‘Innovation in Bingo’ at the EGR Innovation and Marketing Awards
  • 2017 – ‘Best Mobile Bingo Product’ at the EGR Innovation and Marketing Awards

While the Mecca Leisure Group is no longer active, Mecca Bingo is still one of the biggest bingo brands in the UK and is synonymous with the game. As the popularity of online bingo continues to rise, their bingo site continues to grow and offers a wide range of bingo, slots and promotions.

Last updated: Jan 24, 2023

Lillian Grey

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Lillian Grey is a long time online bingo and slots player who started putting her thoughts down on digitial paper around 2008. Having been covering the industry for quite some time, she is able to spot the good from the bad when it comes to online bingo. An ever present at indsutry conferences and events, Lillian likes to meet fellow bingo enthusiasts to share stories and ideas, with maybe a glass of wine (or two) involved! When not covering the ever changing world of online bingo, she likes to read a good book and go for family walks in the forest.

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