Neil McArthur resigns as Gambling Commission CEO

Simona Boshkova | Published 16 Mar 2021, 9:51 a.m.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is a regulatory body, responsible for controlling gambling and supervising gambling law in the UK. In the past few months, the Commission has taken significant steps to make gambling safer and fairer. What’s more, it has fined several operators, including Caesars Entertainment, to raise standards across the gambling industry. The tightening measures and restrictions from UKGC have impacted online gambling which led to a rise in online gambling market gross.

Neil McArthur joined the UKGC in 2006 and became Chief Executive in 2018. Now, he announced that he will be leaving the Commission after nearly 15 years.

Many initiatives were introduced during McArthur’s tenure

Yesterday, the UK Gambling Commission announced that Neil McArthur has resigned from duties as CEO of the organisation. McArthur has chosen to end his 15-year tenure with the Commission, having joined in 2006 as General Counsel before rising to the role of Chief Executive in 2018. 

Throughout his tenure as Chief Executive, the UKGC has gone through plenty of changes to meet the challenges of regulating a rapidly changing online gambling market. McArthur oversaw the implementation of many initiatives, most of which were intended to protect customers against gambling harms. One of the most important measures introduced under McArthur’s leadership was the Credit Card Gambling Ban, as well as enhanced age verification checks, and most recently, new requirements to establish protection in the design of online slot games

Additionally, McArthur played a role in launching the Lived Experience Advisory Panel, helping those whose lives have been affected by problem gambling. Finally, Neil McArthur led the UKGC’s operations through two major periods of change, as the gambling industry started to deal with a digitalised marked, and it coped with the financial and organisational challenges of the current situation.

Commenting on his departure, Neil McArthur said that he is proud of everything the UKGC has achieved during his tenure. He explained that the Commission has taken important steps towards a safer gambling market and he believes that he is leaving the organisation in a strong position.

The Gambling Act Review is still ongoing

One of the reasons why McArthur decided to leave the Commission is the criticism aimed at UKGC for the Gambling Act Review. The industry expressed worries that more customers would turn to illegal websites if the review results in too strict and limiting measures. To this, McArthur commented that now is the right time to step away and allow a new CEO to lead the UKGC on the next stage in its journey.

Furthermore, the Chairman of UKGC Bill Moyes thanked McArthur for his years of service and commitment. He added that a lot has been achieved during his time so McArthur can rightly feel proud of UKGC’s progress during his tenure as CEO.

The Gambling Commission will begin the recruitment process to find a replacement for an interim period, allowing Moyes’ successor to appoint a permanent Chief Executive. Whilst that recruitment process is ongoing, Deputy Chief Executive Sarah Gardner and Chief Operating Officer Sally Jones will jointly become Acting Chief Executive.

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