Rank Group Plc. have been busy bees after unveiling a new partnership with Williams Interactive LLC, whilst also sealing the deal on the purchase of 19 casinos from the Gala Coral Group Ltd.
Just weeks after Sky Vegas Casino shook hands over a deal with Williams Interactive LLC (WMS), Rank Group Plc. have also decided that access to the WMS’ online library of slot machines delights is crucial to the success of the European betting and gaming company.
The pair have agreed a multi-year B2B online gaming agreement that will see Rank Group’s online brands, Meccabingo.com and Grosvenorcasinos.com, gaining access to slot machines such as THE WIZARD OF OZ™, Zeus™, Reel ‘Em In® and Jackpot Party® games. It is envisaged that the new games will be available on the Rank Group’s online sites in the summer. Once again, as was the case with the Sky Vegas deal, the software integration will be smoothed out thanks to OpenBet’s Remote Gaming Interface.
Orrin J. Edidin, President of WMS Industries Inc. and CEO and President of Williams Interactive LLC, stated: “Over the course of the last 75 years, The Rank Group Plc. has thrilled millions of people the world over, building iconic and much-loved entertainment brands in the process. WMS slot games will further support the continued growth of Rank and expand its entertainment offering with the launch of our classic WMS slot games.” He continued, “The alliance with The Rank Group Plc. is another premier endorsement of WMS’ online gaming capabilities and demonstrates our growing momentum in expanding the worldwide audience for our gaming content. I’m confident that as we bring new levels of excitement and entertainment to its online communities, we will achieve great success together in the years to come.”
The view from Joe Hine, Head of Commercial at Rank Interactive, was: “We’re pleased to be able to bring such new and exciting video slots content to our online players. We continuously strive to keep our product offering fresh and as a result the user experience both thrilling and entertaining and we believe that WMS games will do just that.”
The deal is sealed with Gala Coral
Patience is a virtue and it has served Rank Group well, as they have finally agreed terms with Gala Coral for the purchase of 19 of the 23 casinos that were contained within the first round of talks that started way back in May 2012. The Gala Coral casinos in Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff, Stockton-on-Tees and Gibraltar, including its non-operating licenses for the City of Westminster (London) and Dundee, are no longer within the scope of that original agreement. Three non-operating licenses do pass hands within the agreement with the caveat that the non-operating license in Edinburgh be disposed of to a purchaser approved by the Competition Commission.
The deal, which is worth £179 million, makes Rank Group the largest casino operator in Great Britain – by number of casinos – with 54 in operation and a further 12 non-operating licenses. The acquisition will expand the brand of its Grosvenor casinos into a further 11 new cities and roll out its ‘G Casino’ format to eight Gala casino locations; an action that has historically generated over 20% year two, cash-on-cash returns.
“This acquisition enables us to capitalize on our proven record of operational excellence in the British casino sector, and is expected to be earning enhancing in the first full year of ownership. By rolling out the ‘G Casino’ format into the Gala estate and expanding the Grosvenor Casino brand into 11 new cities, we will accelerate the growing awareness of the brand and support the development of a multi-channel gaming business.” Declared Ian Burke, Chairman and Chief Executive of Rank.