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Gambling show criticised for ‘disrespectful’ use of ‘sexualised’ models

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a close up of a light© Provided by The Independent

The gambling industry’s annual trade show in London has been criticised for “archaic” for use of female models for promotion.

The ICE event, which has been held for 20 years in the capital, has come under fire for the use of women dressed in Playboy bunny costumes and other sexualised outfits.

One brand, Kajot, reportedly had three models in leather catsuits at the most recent event held at the ExCel centre in the Docklands.

ICE, which is organised by Clarion Gaming, showcases the work of global brands in the bingo, betting, casino, lottery, mobile gaming, sports, betting and online payments sectors.

In previous years the conference has also featured female pole dancers and acrobats, as shown in a promotional video on YouTube, although they have not been reported at the 2020 summit.

Following similar scrutiny in 2018 then-chief executive of the gambling commission, Sarah Harrison, promised to crack down on sexist imagery.

Ms Harrison said the ICE event had been characterised by men “wearing expensive tailored suits” and female colleagues wearing “nothing more than swimsuits”.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris told The Guardianthat a continuation of the behaviour was “archaic and beyond disrespectful” and “not acceptable” at a UK business conference.

Clarion Gaming chief executive Kate Chambers confirmed that Kajot, who had used models in leather catsuits, was in breach of the event’s code of conduct but others were not.

The Gambling Commission said it is for Clarion Gaming to enforce its code of conduct.

The show is being held from 4 to 6 February this year. It is estimated there will be over 35,000 attendees who can pay up to £250 for a ticket to the conference.

Speakers include the CEO of William Hill, Ulrik Bengtsson, and Ricahrd Bosworth, from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

This comes on the same day a Labour MP, Tracy Babin, responded to “sexist” comments about the way she was dressed in the House of Commons when she wore an off-the-shoulder dress.

Babin said: “I can confirm I’m not….a slag, hungover, a tart, about to breastfeed, a slapper, drunk, just been banged over a wheelie bin.”

The Independent has contacted the Gambling Commission and Clarion Gaming for comment.

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