The British Gambling Commission has appointed Andrew Rhodes as its interim chief executive while it seeks a permanent replacement for Neil McArthur.
UK.- Andrew Rhodes will serve as interim chief executive of the Gambling Commission for 18 months while the British gambling regulator looks for a candidate to fill the role on a permanent basis.
The appointment comes after former chief executive Neil McArthur made the surprise announcement of his immediate resignation from the post in March.
The Gambling Commission’s deputy chief executive Sarah Gardner and chief operating officer Sally Jones have been joint acting chief executives since then.
Rhodes most recently served as registrar and chief operating officer at Swansea University. He previously held senior roles at the Department for Work and Pensions and the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
Rhodes said: “The Gambling Commission is one of the world’s highest profile and most respected regulators so I am delighted to join the team at such an important time.
“Protecting the public and players from gambling harm will continue to be central to our work and I am looking forward to meeting people from across the industry and those with lived experience to understand the issues and opportunities which lay ahead.”
Gambling Commission chairman Bill Moyes said: “Andrew has a first-class track record of delivery, strong leadership and innovation both in the private sector and in the civil service.
“I have no doubt he will prove to be an exceptional appointment here at the Commission and it comes at a time when the spotlight is on gambling regulation and operators. I am looking forward to working closely with Andrew as I prepare to hand over to a new chair in September.”
Rhodes’ appointment comes as the Gambling Commission faces criticism for its handling of the collapse of Football Index. The British regulator is also under intense scrutiny due to the UK government’s ongoing review of gambling legislation.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm has called for the Gambling Commission to be axed altogether.
The Gambling Commission will continue to seek a permanent replacement for McArthur during Rhodes’ 18-month appointment.
British Gambling Commission launches corporate strategy and business plan
Earlier this year, Gambling Commission launched a three-year corporate strategy setting out its priorities for 2021-24.
The British regulator has outlined five priority areas: the protection of children and vulnerable people from gambling-related harm, a fairer market with better-informed customers, keeping crime out of gambling, the optimisation of charitable donations from the National Lottery and improving gambling regulation.
Meanwhile, its business plan for the year sets out proposed milestones that include the competition for the UK’s next National Lottery licence and the assurance of a smooth transition without affecting the performance of the current licence.