City Spy

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 14, 2004 | Go to article overview

City Spy


THERE'S no doubting the biggest moneyspinning show in town at the moment: the massive lobbying effort under way from companies interested in the forthcoming Gaming Bill. Every public affairs and PR firm, it seems, is getting a slice of the action. Heading the list is Quintus. Clients include Interactive Gaming, Gambling & Betting Association, Rank, Leisure Link, Caesars, Betfair, MGM Mirage and Kerzner International. College Hill is advising the Tote and London Clubs International.

Maitland also handles Rank. Lexington looks after the National Heritage Lottery Foundation. The Gambling Consultancy has Crown (Kerry Packer), Bet365.com, Arena Leisure, Sportingbet, Victor Chandler, Betfair, the Association of British Bookmakers and Ladbrokes on its books. Edelman is advising Las Vegas Sands. Gala Group has teamed up with US casinos giant Harrah's, and their PR is being looked after by Brunswick. Bell Pottinger has the British Amusement Catering Trade Association and has also emerged as an adviser to Caesars at Wembley. Consolidated Communications has Pokerroom.com and Victor Chandler, DJH Associates has the British Casino Association, Hill & Knowlton has the British Horseracing Board; LLM also handles Ladbrokes; Precise Public Affairs also advises Betfair. Given the scale of this lot, the fact that those other bodies keen to have a very different say in the Bill, the Salvation Army and the Methodist Church, use their own in-house people gives some indication as to how the argument is going.

IT may put a strain on the Entente Cordiale (especially as its centenary occurred this year) but celebrations are in hand next year to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar (it will be 199 years next week since we gave the French a thrashing). As such, the shipping and holiday industries are launching SeaBritain, an attempt to promote "a year of travel and holidays by sea". …

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