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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 15:46 GMT
Virgin explores casino potential
Virgin Mobile
There could be synergies with Virgin's mobile phone business
Richard Branson's Virgin group is looking at the possibility of entering the UK gaming market.

The company has been approached by several casino operators about a tie-up which could use the Virgin brand name.

Discussions are at an early stage but Virgin believes there may be synergies between gaming and its existing music retail and mobile phone businesses.

Virgin looked at the possibility of opening a casino at the Millennium Dome but did not pursue the idea.

Early stage

Virgin launched a gaming website earlier this year which has attracted more than 30,000 players.

It offers subscribers the chance to play roulette, poker and blackjack as well as bingo and virtual arcade games.

Virgin confirmed it was considering its options in the area but said it was too early to talk about what it may do.

"It is an area we are looking at but it is at a pretty early stage," Will Whitehorn, Virgin's director of corporate affairs, told BBC News.

"We have been approached by several operators about operating a casino in the UK. It is something we are looking at."

Parliament is currently debating legislation which would permit the opening of a number of 'super casinos' across the UK.

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