Rank hopes to cut its losses on Blue Square

THE LOSSMAKING online sports bookie, Blue Square, has been put on the market by its owner, casino operator Rank.

Rank, which bought Blue Square in 2003, said yesterday it would “undertake a review” of the business. Blue Square survived a similar review in 2009 but Rank is understood to be pursuing a sale this time, and early discussions have begun with some parties.

However, 888.com, which was pinpointed as the most likely buyer of Blue Square by some analysts yesterday, is not understood to be interested.

“The business operates solely in the digital channel of the highly competitive sports betting market where it continues to generate an operating loss,” the company said.

“Rank intends to focus its resources on further developing Grosvenor Casino and Mecca [bingo].”

Rank is also trying to have its £205m deal for rival operator Gala, which would make it the UK’s biggest casino owner, cleared by competition authorities.