Gender Disparity Accusations Over ICE London Luke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports · February 8, 2018 at 3:30 pm One less than positive note that hung over the massive ICE gaming industry event held at ExCeL London this week (6th – 8th February) is a complaint, direct from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), that outfits worn by some women promoting certain events were “unacceptable”. UKGC CEO Sarah Harrison remarked to the BBC that some women were wearing ‘little more than swimsuits’ and that the UKGC themselves would consider boycotting future ICE events entirely over this very issue. The event’s manager hurriedly clarified to press that this complaint was directed at a “very small” number of stalls at the event. As a reporter present on the scene, I have to say that, regardless of the intention of the initial complaint, there were plenty of organisers on the floor at whom such a complaint could have been reasonably levied. Now, granted, there is a debate to be had over whether or not the current #metoo movement has swung too far towards political correctness, but that’s far too wide-ranging and involved an issue to try and do justice to in this short piece. But, just in simple terms of fact, there were numerous scantily-clad women attending stalls in revealing outfits, and I myself spoke to several women flown into the UK from various parts of Europe in the early hours to work long hours at the show in what they themselves referred to as “painful” high heels and skimpy clothing. Sarah Harrison spoke to BBC’s Radio 4 over her concerns regarding the representation of “gender disparity” at the show, remarking that this was not an issue of political correctness but one of diversity and accurate industry representation. She pointed out that the highest paid boss in the whole of the UK was in fact Denise Coates, CEO of Bet365, but that the exhibition did not accurately represent this in the roles it chose to give to each gender. Indeed, although there were plenty of men at the show in roles of lower significance, such as barkeeps, they tended to be dressed more decently, in dinner jackets or the like. There were also plenty of female managers at work in their usual roles. I did, however, encounter female managers and HR representatives drafted in as bartenders also, complete with little black dresses. The opening ceremony of the event itself featured a Playboy-themed dance show to mark the launch of Microgaming’s new slots game, Playboy Gold, from Triple Edge Studios. One understands that certainly a large gambling trade show can’t be accused of being child-friendly, but there may be other issues at stake here. Several women interviewed on this issue at the event claimed to have been sexually propositioned, some were asked to wear thongs or bondage gear, and several also complained of being inappropriately touched. There were even those who stated they had signed non-disclosure agreements prior to working, and hence were unwilling or unable, legally, to discuss the matter further. That itself certainly seems very wrong, and worthy of greater scrutiny.