Rank is set to seal its Gala takeover

Rank, the Grosvenor Casinos, Mecca Bingo and Blue Square operator, yesterday said it hopes to complete its £205m takeover of 26 Gala casinos by the end of next month.

The deal, which was announced in May, will make Rank the biggest casinos company in the UK. That comes as its latest results showed casinos growing strongly while bingo halls trod water.

Rank's headline profits rose 4.1 per cent in the 12 months to the end of July on revenues up 3.4 per cent at £600m with customer visits increasing by the same percentage at 28.8 million.

Since the start of July Rank said there had been an uptick in trade with revenues running 6 per cent ahead of last year.