|First alleged in a piece late last week by the Reuters news agency, Rank’s online sports betting subsidiary BlueSquare.com and the giant Internet gambling group 888.com have confirmed that they are to team up.|
Rank announced in a statement yesterday that its BlueSquare.com website is to provide a sportsbetting service for London-listed online poker and casino company 888 Holdings plc along with managing its fixed-odds betting and sports content.
In exchange, online casino and poker room 888.com is to provide its payment-processing platform to BlueSquare.com as it takes its own sports betting service to new international markets. 888 recently launched an Italian sportsbook operation with the UK expected to be the next major target.
'We will benefit from 888's international experience and liquidity as we extend our reach beyond the UK,' read a statement released by Rank.
Reuters stated that online gambling firms that previously offered only poker and casino games have had a harder time over the past year following the banning of Internet gambling transactions by the United States. This caused sites such as 888.com and PartyGaming.com to withdraw from the US market and rebuild lost business in other regions and the new service with BlueSquare.com is scheduled to commence during the first quarter of next year.
'Our analysis shows that a significant proportion of our players bet on sport events occasionally and the inclusion of sports betting in our offering is in line with our focus to aid customer acquisition,” said a spokesperson for 888.com.