London, England - A new regulatory body in UK betting and gaming is scheduled to be launched this autumn. To be known as the Betting and Gaming Council, this regulatory body seeks to provide a unified voice for the betting and gaming sector.
The new Council plans to interact more directly with the UK gambling community, and they are expected to replace the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) in terms of their duties and responsibilities. As soon as the new regulatory body is launched in the fall, therefore, these two existing associations will be packed up.
ABB Chairman Paul Darling has released a statement addressing this recent development. He said: “I welcome the creation of the Betting and Gaming Council, which will enable the sharing of best practice across the industry and significantly increase the capability for innovation on new, safer gambling measures.”
Right after the launch, the council already plans to reveal the first step it intends to take. What is known at the moment is that the council is set to offer membership to incumbents in the sector, especially because they aim to represent at least 90% of licensed betting establishments in the UK. This would mean membership will be open to lottery sector as well.
The first member of the council to be announced this early is Brigid Simmonds OBE, who used to be a member of the GambleAware trustee. She has recently revealed that she has resigned as British Beer & Pub Association Chief Executive. She has served the association as Chief Executive since 2009. Prior to that, she served on the governance boards of Sport England and the Sport England Lottery Panel, and was the active chairman of Tourism Alliance. Simmonds is expected to serve as the council’s Chairperson.
In her statement addressing the creation of a new Betting and Gaming Council, Simmonds said: “The gambling industry is a hugely significant contributor to the leisure industry and to the economy. There are, however, critical issues facing the sector and that is why I will ensure that creating a safe gambling environment is the top priority. I will be listening to all stakeholders to ensure that the Betting and Gaming Council is leading the industry in identifying effective measures to protect customers.
RGA Chairman and Bet365 Co-Chief Executive John Coates welcomed Simmonds into her new role, saying: “I know she will drive cooperation across the industry on all safer gambling initiatives as it continues to come together to collectively address the challenges it faces.”
Policy and regulatory stakeholders are currently conducting various reviews of directives regarding issues involving consumers and social studies. Specifically, they are taking a close look at directives related to social responsibility, advertising, consumer standards, and customer engagement standards. The creation of a new Betting and Gaming Council has therefore come at a crucial time for the gambling industry in the UK.
Following the introduction of Simmonds as council Chair and fall as the time of launch, the search for a chief executive is now under way.