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Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which casino operators officials from her Department met in 2005-06; whether the Department for Trade and Industry provided papers for the meetings; and if she will make such papers available along with the minutes and agendas of the meetings. (102084)

During 2005-06, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials in Los Angeles, including the Consul-General, met representatives of two casino operators on three occasions:

On 18 July 2005, the Consul-General and a member of his staff met Mr. Rob Goldstein, President of the Venetian, in Las Vegas.

On 23 August 2005, the Consul-General in Los Angeles met Mr. Peter George, Senior Vice President, International Development of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.

On 20 February 2006, the Consul-General in Los Angeles attended a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims in Las Vegas. During this event, the Consul-General had a brief discussion with Mr. Gary Loveman, chief executive officer of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.

The Department of Trade and Industry did not provide any papers in advance of these meetings and due to commercial confidentiality we are not in a position to make the minutes and documents publicly available.

Other than these meetings and following a Department-wide trawl, we are not aware of any other meetings between FCO officials and casino operators during this period.