Gala puts block on Rank’s G spot - Friday 25th of April 2008

RIVAL gaming groups Gala and Rank are at loggerheads in a row over trademarks.

Rank is thought to be trying to register the logo “G” as a mark after launching a chain of casinos with that name.

It has faced opposition from Gala, which has previously registered “G” as its own trademark. It is refusing to allow Rank, which owns the Grosvenor casino chain and Mecca Bingo, to progress with its application.

It is not clear how Rank intends to go ahead, but there is little sign that the two will be able to agree a compromise.

Rank has been pressing ahead with the expansion of its G brand. There are four outlets so far out of its 32 sites in Britain, with plans to open another two this year. Gala has 30 casinos.

The need for the group to develop a new casino brand was given extra impetus after it had to scrap the Hard Rock Casino name following Rank’s sale of the burger chain.

The trademark dispute comes as the main industry players have been working more closely together to lobby government for key concessions.

Both Gala and Rank, the two largest bingo operators, have been trying to persuade ministers to scrap Vat on the game.

However, in his recent budget, Alistair Darling, the chancellor, ignored calls for a change in the duty regime.

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