UK Gambling Business Group names Charlotte Meller as general manager

Mellor worked at the Gambling Commission for over eight years.
Mellor worked at the Gambling Commission for over eight years.

The industry body has appointed the former Gambling Commission executive to the newly created post.

UK.- The gambling industry representative body Gambling Business Group has named former Gambling Commission executive Charlotte Meller to take up the newly-created post of general manager. Meller joins Gambling Business Group from the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office but previously worked at the Gambling Commission for more than eight years.

She also served for nine years as team leader for licensing, gambling, health and safety at Local Government Regulation (previously LACORS). Prior to that, she served as European policy executive at the Food and Drink Federation.

Gambling Business Group chief executive Peter Hannibal said: “I’m delighted to welcome Charlotte to this important post for the Gambling Business Group’s members.

“Her CV is packed with relevant experience including at the Food and Drink Federation where she liaised with politicians and policy makers, her nine-years working within LACORS as well as her significant role at the Gambling Commission (2012–2020) where she was the Local Authority Partnership Specialist.

“There has been widespread speculation that the UK Government white paper on gambling will devolve greater powers to Local Authorities and to the Gambling Commission – in which case Charlotte’s experience and relationships with the regulators will be hugely valuable to the GBG and its members.

“We are a small and efficient team and Charlotte’s appointment will make a huge difference not only to the service we provide to our members but also in the delivery of our strategic road map.

“There remains widespread concern, frustration and disillusionment among UK licensed operators over gambling licence administration processes and one of Charlotte’s first objectives will be to understand the cause of those frustrations and help to resolve them.”

The Gambling Business Group (GBG) is a representation of gambling organisation members from all sectors of the UK gambling industry including casinos, bingo halls, betting shops, arcades, remote gambling operators and suppliers. It also has strong representation from supporting businesses that include legal, finance, consultancy and recruitment organisations.

The group says its members account for up to 70 per cent of the British gross gaming yield (GGY), making it the most significant representation of gambling businesses in the UK.

Peter Hannibal has been CEO since the group was founded in 2014. Prior to that, he was CEO of Business in Leisure, part of the Business in Sport and Leisure organisation, where he headed up the body’s Gambling Working Group. Peter was also involved in creating the P3 Group, now the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG).

UK gambling white paper remains on hold

Speculation is brewing that the UK government may finally scrap its long-delayed overhaul of gambling legislation. The new prime minister Liz Truss is said to favour ditching plans for new regulation in a range of areas in order to focus on economic growth.

Initially due to be published at the start of the year, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s white paper on gambling has been pushed back month after month. It was reportedly ready for publication when Boris Johnson’s resignation put things on hold.

Now The Guardian has suggested that any new legislation based on the two-year review could be scrapped completely. The newspaper’s chief political correspondent, Jessica Elgot, has reported that Truss wants to axe the animal welfare bill, the energy bill, the online harms bill and reforms of gambling legislation.

However, any decision to completely drop plans to reform gambling legislation will prove controversial and will attract intense criticism, including from within the ruling Conservative party. Iain Duncan Smith was already on the warpath over rumours that the expected reforms had been watered down.

Even the gambling industry itself will have mixed feelings about reforms being scrapped. While it’s true that the leaked contents of the white paper in its last known form contained measures unpopular with operators – most notably affordability checks, stake limits for online slots and a ban on VIP schemes – the content was not as severe as it could have been.

The danger of no reform is that the intense criticism of gambling in the media and from campaigners and anti-gambling politicians will continue unabated, casting a shadow over the industry’s reputation

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