US casino head takes reins at London Clubs

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London Clubs International yesterday appointed the head of its bankrupted Aladdin casino venture in the US as the chief executive of the group.

Bill Timmins took over the running of LCI's doomed Aladdin venture after it had fallen into financial disarray in October 2001. He has since successfully brought it out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sold the business. He is now coming back to the UK to run the gaming group as it gears up for the introduction of Las Vegas-style casinos in Britain.

LCI's attempt to take on Las Vegas with the Aladdin casino cost the job of the then executive chairman, Alan Goodenough. It opened late, failed to attract customers and was finally killed off by the aftermath of the 11 September attacks. Mr Goodenough left in 2001 and the venture led to an £86m charge for LCI in 2002, bringing the group near to collapse.

Following his departure, Barry Hardy, the chief operating officer, took over the top job and has steered LCI through a £49m rescue rights issue and a return to profitability. Mr Hardy will now move to become deputy chairman of LCI, but will retain his executive powers.

Mr Timmins, who has worked with LCI for eight years, brings experience of US-style slot machines with million-dollar jackpots to LCI.