London Casinos bets on Vegas style for London

The forthcoming The Casino at the Empire in London’s Leicester Square is set to bring a little bit of Las Vegas to London when it opens at the end of this month.

Designed by architect Burrows Cave, the casino features interiors by US consultancy Paul Steelman Design Group, which has worked on casinos such as Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, with visual identity and branding by UK consultancy My Agency.

The casino is the second of five unique UK projects by London Casinos International, and follows the launch of its first casino – Manchester235 – last October.

The venue will feature a dramatic walk-through, leading via a ‘Hollywood-style’ staircase with enclosed fires contrasting with a huge glass chandelier, to the Vapor bar and two other bars, a poker room called Face to Face, two restaurants (Fulushou and Flame), the Icon Room and the Shadow Lounge.

LCI marketing director Maria Slater appointed My Agency in February last year to create the name, visual identity, branding, sub-branding, menus, website www.the, and advertising for the London casino, as well as for the next three venues planned for Nottingham, Glasgow and Leeds, following the consultancy’s work on the Manchester casino.

The consultancy has been handed the challenge of coming up with a new concept for each venue, while observing the legal restrictions on the marketing of casinos.

‘We wanted My Agency to develop a brand identity that will really appeal to a wider audience, and really set each casino as a new, entertaining, fun and exciting experience,’ says Slater. ‘There will be a new concept each time, with a variety of different elements for each casino.’

My Agency looked at all the interiors when considering the naming and branding. It used a ‘simple’ logo with a black night-time feel, with the same typography running through each sub-brand.

For the Shadow Bar, the consultancy has used a lenticular of women dancing, reminiscent of James Bond films, for the identity and carried on the theme of fire and ice for the Flame restaurant and Vapor bar. Each section on the website uses its own identity.

‘The venue uses a lot of marble, it is very Rat Pack-style and Hollywood,’ says My Agency creative director and founder Luke White. ‘We went through a long process in design and coming up with the name, and because the Empire is so well known we decided on The Casino at the Empire. We used lots of Las Vegas razzamatazz, and the identities are very flexible. LCI wants to build a UK brand for casinos but wants each one to be different, to show their uniqueness’.

• London Casinos International has already opened the Manchester235 casino in Manchester. The Leicester Square casino will open at the end of May, with Nottingham, Glasgow and Leeds to follow
• The Gambling Act 2005 is to be fully implemented by September
• The Act will allow casinos to open 24 hours, immediate access for the public and unlimited jackpots in the largest casinos Tighter restrictions on betting exchanges will be imposed, but advertising will be permitted for the first time

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