The head of the UK Gambling Commission resigns

The head of the UK Gambling Commission resigns

09.05.2021 0 By Andrzej Sikorski

The head of the Gambling Commission is due to step down, leaving the UK gambling regulator without a CEO during a government review of legislation governing the sector.

Neil McArthur resigned with immediate effect, and a search for an interim CEO will soon begin.

His departure comes at a critical juncture for the regulator, which has faced criticism for not having the authority to adapt to the development of online and mobile games, in part because they receive too little funding from the government.

The regulator has come under attack over an alleged lack of adequate supervision of the soccer index, although McArthur's departure is assumed to be unrelated to this.

McArthur chaired the committee in a period marked by growing concern over the behavior of the gambling industry, especially the use of so-called VIP programs, as well as concerns about the impact of gamblers on young and vulnerable people of advertising and its affiliation with football.

He has made efforts to contain VIP schemes, ban credit card gambling and impose tighter control over both advertising and the design of online casino games.

But the committee has also found itself at the center of mounting criticism, amidst stories of industry exploitation of vulnerable people and a very critical report by the government's spending oversight body, the National Audit Office.

The deputy chief executive of the regulator Sarah Gardner and her chief operating officer, Sally Jones, will jointly become Acting Chief Executive Officers.

However, the permanent CEO will not be hired until a new president has been appointed. The president's term of office, Bill Moyes, ends later this year.

McArthur spent almost 15 years with the regulator, serving as both legal counsel and CEO in 2018.

He said: “I am proud of all that the Gambling Commission has achieved in my 15 years with the organization. We have taken significant steps to make gambling fairer and safer, and I know I am leaving the organization in a strong position to meet future challenges.

“With the review of the Gambling Act currently under way, she now feels the right time to leave and let the new CEO lead the committee for the next leg of her journey. "