The deal would have to see Rank and 888 form up to create a new company, which would then go after William Hill with a £3 billion offer, creating one of the largest betting firms in the world. Rank would give 888 a retail presence, which would be beneficial to a purchase of William Hill, which has hundreds of betting shops throughout the UK and around the world. 888 on the other hand has a specialty in providing online services, of which Will Hill also has a strong presence.
The merger talks aren't new between 888 and William Hill, who were in talks to merge last year, but eventually went nowhere after 888's Avi Shaked balked at a low offer.
The UK betting market has seen moving to consolidate after the country implemented a point of consumption tax that applies to offshore betting groups. Such mergers have seen Paddy Power and Betfair join together as well as Ladbrokes and Gala Coral, and GVC Holdings and bwin.
As of press time no parties to the talks had issued a comment, but Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.