altAfter much anticipation, Betfair has finally taken over Blue Square, the online bookmaker and owners of Blue Square Bingo, from the Rank Group in a deal estimated at £5 million. Not only has the move ended Blue Square’s six-year sponsorship of the Football Conference (leaving them without a major sponsor for the coming season), but it has also closed down Blue Square Bingo, Casino, and Poker’s online offerings. All’s not lost for ex-members of these sites, however, as Betfair has migrated all player accounts over to their bingo, casino, and poker websites.

Whilst the demise of Blue Square comes as no surprise, considering the company’s losses trebled in the last half of 2012, their owners – Rank Group – are busy taking on nineteen casinos from Gala Coral, and are planning to now focus on developing their Grosvenor Casino land-based and online businesses, as well as the Mecca Bingo website and land-based halls.

As of Tuesday, 2nd April 2013, all ex-Blue Square customers were directed to the Betfair website, where they were required to complete a simple activation process prior to accessing their migrated accounts. Provide their usernames were not already in use, players retained their existing log-in details. Any real-money account funds were also transferred over, and all unsettled bets have, or will shortly be honoured by the new owners.

If you used to play at Blue Square Bingo, you needn’t worry that any of your bonuses and loyalty points will be lost. As part of the takeover, Rank Group has put in place a system to transfer these over. All you need to do is create a new chat alias (you can use your ‘old’ one if it’s available), and your account will then be automatically updated every Friday and Monday until Friday, 5th May 2013. If you’re unable to create your player alias by this date, you can still contact the Betfair Helpdesk via the website, and they’ll manually migrate your bonus funds, loyalty level, and loyalty points across.

Whilst it’s sad to see Blue Square Bingo bite the proverbial dust, its replacement – Betfair Bingo – seems to have a lot going for it. There are 90-ball, 75-ball, Speed, and Special games to enjoy, as well as scratch cards, slots, multi-player games, and more. New players can also take advantage of a generous £30 bonus when they deposit their first £10 at the site.

If you’re a player who’s been affected by the takeover, what do you think about it, and which site do you think is best to play at?

www.meccabingo.com