UKGC Names Neil McArthur as New Chief Executive

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced the permanent appointment of Neil McArthur as the agency’s Chief Executive, effective immediately.

McArthur had previously been serving as the UKGC’s chief executive since the sudden departure of Sarah Harrison a couple of months ago. McArthur has served in a legal role with the Commission since 2006, and was promoted to the UKGC’s Executive Director role in 2016.

A statement offered by the Gambling Commission declared that a thorough search for qualified candidates was conducted and a highly competitive process ensued, though the United Kingdom’s chief regulatory agency for gambling matters decided to stay in-house in the end, removing McArthur’s interim label.

Bill Moyes, Chair of the Commission, offered this: “Neil’s appointment is great news for the Commission. He brings to the role a thorough understanding of gambling issues and regulation, along with 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.’’

McArthur himself offered this take on being made a permanent fixture in the chief executive role: “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. 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.”

Gardner’s brief bio at the Commission offers a bit more on his background:

Neil qualified as a solicitor in 1997. He is a graduate of Leicester Polytechnic and Leicester University and holds a post-graduate diploma in local government law from the College of Law. He is a member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.

Neil 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.

As the UKGC’s chief executive, McArthur is responsible for the development and effective delivery of the strategy as agreed to by the agency’s Board of Commissioners. More specifically, he’s expected to continue to spearhead the UKGC’s proactive practices regarding gambling services in both the live and online spheres. Several of the UKGC’s recent edicts regarding crackdowns against certain misleading marketing and promotional practices have been issued under McArthur’s interim watch.

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