As it was announced on Thursday, Simon Thomas, CEO of London's Hippodrome Casino and land-based gaming personality, has accepted an invitation to become the first ICE London Ambassador, for a period comprising September 2021 through August 2022.
In an official press release, Managing Director of the Gaming Division of ICE organizers Clarion Events, Stuart Hunter, spoke about Thomas’ appointment and said: "We have created the role of ICE Ambassador to ensure our brands remain close to, and responsive to, the business needs of all sectors across our extensive stakeholder community and its jurisdictions”.
"Leading names from across the gaming landscape will be invited to become ICE Ambassadors ensuring that we have a varied mix of individuals, roles and experience who can sense-check our strategy and provide the broadest possible industry feedback”, he noted.
"Simon is an ideal ICE London Ambassador. His interpretation more than a decade ago of new casino legislation brought about a new style of UK casino that has put the sector firmly on the world map. He has deftly combined his core gaming with an entertainment and hospitality offer that is unprecedented within the industry. All this on one site employing upwards of 600 staff and now a key component of the broader central London tourist experience”, he explained.
"He has also become the voice of the West End of London, regularly featured on national and international news, speaking for the sector, business growth and Government policy”, Hunter said.
"Simon's experience as the former chairman of the National Casino Forum, past President of Bacta and policy making committee member of the Bingo Association will be invaluable", he concluded.
Simon Thomas added: "My family's history in the amusements and gaming industry means that I have quite literally grown up attending what was then ATEI and has subsequently become ICE London. I look forward to this new ambassadorial challenge and working with Stuart and the leadership team at Clarion Gaming."
According to his LinkedIn profile, Simon Thomas started out as Managing DIrector of Thomas Estates, a company dedicated to the bingo and amusement industry in the UK. He is now Chief Executive and a majority shareholder of Hippodrome Casino, the extensive leisure casino complex above Leicester Square station.
Thomas was the youngest President of the industry trade association BACTA, and is still a committee member. He is a past chairman of the casino association National Casino Forum, and has been involved with the Government, MPs, the Gambling Commission, DCMS and HMT.