As expected, 888 and online sports book Blue Square, part of land-based casino operator Rank Group, announced today a partnership agreement to launch a multinational sports book.
Under the terms of the deal Blue Square will supply multi-lingual fixed odds and sports betting content, enabling 888 customers in each region to place bets on the 888 Web site. In addition, 888 will provide Blue Square with its payment processing platform, as Blue Square takes its own sports book offering to new international markets. Revenues will be shared between the two partners, but the details remain confidential.
888 will launch its offering in Q1 2008, focusing at first in several EU countries, including the United Kingdom, then will proceed to roll it out on a global basis.
Rank said in a prepared statement that the agreement was in line with the company's strategy to expand beyond the United Kingdom.
'This is an agreement that strengthens both parties," said Martin Belsham, managing director of Blue Square. "We will benefit from 888's international experience and liquidity as we extend our reach beyond the UK; and 888 will complete their customer offer by adding Blue Square's innovative range of betting products."
"The deal will enable 888 to capitalize on our extensive global customer base and grow in new territories," echoed 888 Senior Vice President Gabi Campos. " . . . 888 will work closely with Blue Square to present a compelling localized sports book offering tailored for each country."
The announcement failed to boost either company's share price. Rank Group closed down 3.75p to 90.75, and 888 fell .50p to 130.