Rank are looking to sell off casinos in order to complete the purchase of all Gala Casinos.
Way back in May Rank struck a deal with Gala Coral to purchase 3 cold licences (which would provide them with the option to open a casino in an area that currently doesn’t have one) and to acquire 23 casinos from Rank Coral. That deal didn’t come to fruition but talks are now back on for Rank to take over Gala Coral’s casino arm in a deal worth £205 million, which would see them having to sell 5 casinos in the process.
The Competition Commission (CC) has stated that if the deal went ahead there would only be 2 major casino operators in the UK; One being Rank, owned almost entirely by the Guoco Group, the investment company owned by Quek Leng Chan, a Malaysian billionaire and the other being Genting, the Malaysian gaming group.
The CC has released its preliminary findings which state that there are five areas which could see players see a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) if Rank took over casinos currently owned by Gala Coral – should the deal go ahead. These are Cardiff, Liverpool/ New Brighton, Stockton-on-Tees, Bristol and Aberdeen. Edinburgh would also be a possible SLC. Possible solutions include the 6 casinos being omitted from the takeover deal or for Rank to sell these separately. The final report will be released by the end of February 2013.