Neil McArthur is leaving the UKGC after less than three years in the role

UK Gambling Commission head steps down amid government review into the sector

"With a review of the Gambling Act underway now feels the right time to step away and allow a new Chief Executive to lead the Commission on the next stage in its journey," said Neil McArthur.
2021-03-16
Reading time 1:35 min
Deputy Chief Executive Sarah Gardner and COO Sally Jones will jointly become acting chief executive, and the UKGC will shortly begin a search for an interim chief executive. The successor to current Chairman Bill Moyes, whose term of office ends later this year, will appoint a permanent Chief Executive.

UK Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur said he is leaving the organization with immediate effect after less than three years in the role. Monday's announcement comes amid the government review into UK gambling laws.

McArthur joined the regulatory body in 2006 and was General Counsel before rising to the role of Chief Executive in 2018. He headed the regulator during a period that included concerns about the gambling industry's use of so-called VIP schemes, as well as the impact on young and vulnerable people of gambling advertising and its links to football. He led efforts to rein in the VIP schemes, ban gambling on credit cards and impose tighter controls on both advertising and online casino game design. But the UKGC has also found itself at the centre of mounting criticism, amid stories about industry exploitation of vulnerable people and a highly critical report by the government spending watchdog the National Audit Office, as reported by The Guardian.

The regulator’s Deputy Chief Executive, Sarah Gardner, and its Chief Operating Officer, Sally Jones, will jointly become acting chief executives, and a search for an interim chief executive is due to begin shortly. A permanent chief executive will not be hired until a new chair is appointed. The term of office of the chairman, Bill Moyes, ends later this year.

Commenting on his departure, McArthur stated: “I am proud of everything the Gambling Commission has achieved during my 15 years with the organisation. We have taken significant steps forward to make gambling fairer and safer and I know that I leave the organisation in a strong position to meet its future challenges. With a review of the Gambling Act underway now feels the right time to step away and allow a new Chief Executive to lead the Commission on the next stage in its journey.”

Moyes commented: “On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Neil for his many years of commitment and service to the Gambling Commission. A lot has been achieved during his time here and Neil can rightly feel proud of the organisation’s progress during his tenure as Chief Executive.”

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