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“We were obliged to ask a number of visitors about the source of their wealth,” he said. “So, if, for example, someone has cashed in chips over several evenings totaling more than, say, £15,000, then we have to be vigilant. While it could be totally legitimate money, we have to be sure. That takes time and effort, and left us with a backlog of checks to do, hitting sales and profits.” Meanwhile, in February, the normally temperate British Isles were hit by a weather front that the media dubbed the “Beast from the East” — a large arctic airmass that brought Siberian conditions to the UK. The phenomenon resurfaced in March, albeit it to a lesser extent. Several months later, the country was sweltering in a heatwave, and the hottest June on record. The weather contributed to a fall in visitation to both Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo properties, Rank said. The company, which in 2016 spearheaded a failed attempt with 888 Holdings to buy William Hill, was forced to issue a profit warning in April, causing its shares to plunge by almost 20 percent. “Investors have been betting against Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo operator Rank Group since its profit warning in April and that seems unlikely to change after the final results today,” said Ed Monk, an associate director for Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service. “The company itself described the last year as ‘challenging’ and this was reflected in falling revenue that justifies the previous profit warning,” he added But O’Reilly, a former Ladbrokes exec who joined Rank’s ranks shortly after that profit warning, urged investors to have faith.
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