Playboy bunnies set for UK comeback

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The Independent Online

The Playboy Bunnies are set to make a return to the UK club scene after a near 20-year absence under a deal announced today between leisure company Hilton and the Playboy empire.

Hilton's Ladbroke Casino business and Playboy Enterprises plan to open a Playboy Casino Club in London's West End.

The complex will include a casino, bar and dining club staffed by the famous Playboy Bunnies.

Playboy casinos, including the Playboy Club on Park Lane, were a feature of London's swinging sixties and remained open until 1981, when their gambling licences were revoked.

Ladbroke and Playboy Enterprises are now investigating a number of sites around London's up-market Mayfair district with a view to opening the club next year.

Christine Hefner, chief executive of Playboy Enterprises and daughter of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, said the company was thrilled to be returning to London.

"We believe the power of our brand has never been stronger. A cursory glance at the worldwide media makes it clear that all aspects of Playboy are hot."

The Playboy business has moved with the changing media industry and as well as publishing Playboy magazine worldwide the group operates TV channels and web sites, chiefly