Gambling conference under-fire for sexist behaviour

Event hosts many Island-based businesses

A prestigious event in the gambling industry's calendar, attended by major Isle of Man companies, has come under fire in the UK media for the use of 'promo girls'.

The ICE Totally Gaming conference is held at the Excel centre in London, and features stands from many Manx based-businesses such as KPMG and Microgaming.

The event has been criticised for some of the sexist behaviours which take place and the use of promotional girls to market products.

Less than a day after the head of the UK Gambling Commission called for sexism at these conferences to be stamped out, Island-based Gaming software company Microgaming kicked off proceedings with a Playboy-themed dance show.

Chief executive of the watchdog Sarah Harrison had warned these behaviours and attitudes were straining the industry's reputation.

The Guardian, the Sun and the Daily Mail have all covered the event, with reports of promotional girls being asked to wear revealing clothing.

In one case, a hostess described ICE as 'the closest thing to the 'President's Club Dinner she's ever been too'.

Mickey Swindale, partner at KPMG, chaired a diversity panel at the convention this week - she says it's hard to ignore the affect this may have on the industry, but argues it shouldn't reflect on all gambling companies.

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