Online Casino between a Rock and a Hard Place
By James Mc
UK based bookmaker and online casino operator William Hill is reportedly considering a takeover bid for Rank, the leisure group currently in the throes of selling its Hard Rock cafe business for an estimated £500 million.

William Hill joins its British rival Ladbrokes and a number of American groups who are running the rule over a potential acquisition as analysts forecast that a bidding war could erupt in the coming weeks.

Rank disclosed on Friday that US investment giant Fidelity had built up an 11 percent holding in the company, just days before this week's trading update, which is expected to include news about progress to find a buyer for Hard Rock.

Rank has been unravelling as a mini-conglomerate and is attempting to focus on its casino and bingo operations following this summerís announcement by chief executive Ian Burke that advisers were looking into options for its Hard Rock cafť business.

The groupís bingo business, Britain's second-biggest after Gala, is currently suffering some instability as the number of casinos expands and internet gambling sites grow in popularity.

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