Neil McArthur will step down as chief executive of the British gambling regulator.
UK.- The Gambling Commission has announced that Neil McArthur will step down as chief executive with immediate effect.
His surprise resignation comes in the middle of the UK government’s review of gambling legislation.
The Gambling Commission’s deputy chief executive Sarah Gardner and chief operating officer Sally Jones will step up as joint acting chief executive while the regulator seeks a permanent replacement.
Gardner joined the Gambling Commission in 2009 as an executive director and became deputy chief executive in June last year. Jones joined the regulator in October from the education nonprofit Ambitious Futures.
McArthur spent nearly 15 years at the Gambling Commission after joining the regulator as general counsel in 2006.
He was appointed interim chief executive in 2017 after Sarah Harrison stepped down and was appointed on a permanent basis in February 2018.
McArthur’s tenure included many changes in UK gambling, including a ban on using credit cards for gambling.
The regulator also came in for criticism on several occasions, with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm calling for the Gambling Commission to be axed altogether.
Most recently, the regulator has been criticised for the collapse of Football Index.
McArthur said: “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.”
Gambling Commission chair Bill Moyes said: “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.”