Pembroke: Token gestures are heap good sense

IMI, the Birmingham metal- basher, continues to benefit from an unlikely source: casinos built on American Indian plantations. IMI has developed a flourishing business making the tokens that gamblers slot into one-armed bandits. And it spent dollars 3m buying another token company yesterday.

But the real boom is not in the lurid strips of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but in casinos being built by American Indian tribes that are exempt from some gaming laws because of their 'defeated nation' status.

Tribes such as the Mashantucket Pequot Indians of Connecticut have been building huge casinos whose slot machines gulp down IMI's tokens by the truckload. 'Long may it continue,' says IMI's managing director Ken Collie.

THE STOCK MARKET may have been surprised by Greene King's results yesterday, but anyone who noticed the tie design of house broker Geof Collyer of NatWest Markets might have sensed the worst. It was covered with bears.

Interflora, the flower-delivery network, is branching out. It started offering a chocies option some time ago and is now diversifying further with a 'gift collection' including Mickey Mouse watches and Royal Doulton figurines.

The target market is chiefly men who can't be bothered to go to the shops, guilty guests who can't make it to little Johnny's christening but would like to send a gift, and women who would like to send their man a present but feel that flowers would not be quite the thing.

AS YASSER ARAFAT swings into London, a reminder for anyone with Palestinian connections: they should check the backs of their drawers for notes and coin from the period of the British Mandate.

The Government still has pounds 330,000 left in a fund to reimburse holders of the old sterling currency, which was withdrawn. Any claims to the Bank of England, please. It has plenty left. Only pounds 200 has been claimed in the past 10 years.

FOOTBALLERS who spend their spare time playing golf rather than preparing for a second career are to get a helping hand. The Professional Footballers Association is offering courses in marketing so that if old pros must run a pub or a sports shop, they will have a better chance of doing so successfully.

Seven players, including Matthew Jackson of Everton and the former Stoke defender George Berry, have already stocked up on textbooks and satchels for their course in Warrington. 'They will end up with the same qualification that a marketing manager at Mars has,' says a PFA spokesman. If they pass the exams, that is.

CHARLES MILLER SMITH, an executive director of Unilever, picked up a new job yesterday when he became a non-exec at Midland Bank. He joins BA's Sir Colin Marshall and Sears' chairman Sir Geoffrey Maitland Smith on the payroll.

(Photograph omitted)

THE TERM 'politically correct' has clearly not reached the offices of The Industrial Diamond Annual, published by De Beers, which controls 80 per cent of the world's diamond trade. Dotted throughout its 334 pages are 'tasteful' pictures of scantily clad models illustrating everything from granite smoothing machines to the Cobalt Development Institute. But perhaps the message has filtered through. De Beers has withdrawn its sponsorship, so this edition will be the last.

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