Neil McArthur Appointed UK Gambling Commission CEO

UK Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed that interim CEO Neil McArthur has been officially appointed to the post.

It was never a guarantee. Indeed his confirmation as chief executive follows what the regulator described as “a thorough search and highly competitive process to recruit the role”, but the qualified solicitor and member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers seems to have done enough since he stepped up following the departure of Sarah Harrison MBE.

The Commission had previously announced that Harrison would be leaving at the end of February 2018 to take up a senior role within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. She was credited with giving the Commission ‘teeth’ in the wake of some of its largest fines during her three-year tenure.

What is the UKGC?

Committed to creating a ‘fairer and safer’ gambling market, the UK Gambling Commission has recently dropped some hard-hitting fines to some of the larger organizations as they look into issues of mis-promotions, enabling those with gambling addictions, and pledging to make online betting safer.

Commenting on the appointment, Bill Moyes, Chair of the Gambling Commission said: “Neil’s appointment is great news for the Commission. He brings to the role a thorough understanding of gambling issues and regulation, along with a proven commitment to making gambling fairer and safer. I’m looking forward to working even more closely with Neil as he leads the Commission to make significant progress in raising standards, protecting consumers and the public from gambling-related harm and improving the performance of the National Lottery.’’

Neil McArthur, the newly appointed CEO, said in a statement: “I’m looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead to make gambling fairer and safer. I am really proud of the Commission’s achievements over the last 12 years, but there is a lot more to do.”

According to his official Gambling Commission biography, McArthur qualified as a solicitor in 1997. During his career, he has worked as in-house lawyer for a number of public bodies, including as the head of the General Teaching Council for England’s legal team.

On the commission’s mandate to improve gambling choices, McArthur was clear that this was an area where he expected help from the larger companies. He said: “Ensuring consumers are empowered to make informed choices about gambling while addressing and reducing the harms that can come from gambling is a challenge that cannot be overcome by us alone.

It needs continued strong partnerships with other regulators, consumer representatives, and government. Most importantly, it requires gambling operators to treat their customers fairly, and they can expect us to be tough but fair in making sure they meet their responsibilities.”

What is the CEO role?

The Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission is responsible for the development and effective delivery of the strategy agreed by the Board of Commissioners.

He manages staff through the Executive Group comprising the directors reporting to him. In addition, as Accounting Officer, he is responsible for the proper management and financial governance of the organization.