The agency, headed by former Fishburn Hedges lobbyist Graham McMillan, has been handed a broad public affairs and media relations brief.
The Bingo Association is concerned about the impact of the smoking ban on its members, which include Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo. The industry body says that the ban has already caused a number of clubs in Scotland to shut down and it is expected that clubs across England and Wales will be next.
The Bingo Association is now calling for tax breaks to save the industry. It argues that bingo clubs are subject to a tax burden significantly higher than any other part of the gambling industry.
In June this year, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming laid down an early day motion supporting the industry in its quest. The motion states: ‘By removing VAT, the Government could take a crucial step to assist the industry in adjusting to life after the ban. For many clubs, this could be a lifeline.’
Open Road director Victoria Tate said: ‘Representing the bingo industry will mean dealing with some of today’s most high-profile issues. We want to stress the fact that bingo is an important social activity.’
Meanwhile... Open Road has hired a new consultant. Jessica Frost previously spent three years at Lexington Communications with clients in the financial services, agribusiness and health sectors.
Open Road was founded in January 2007.