A new cross-industry gambling association called the Betting and Gaming Council has appointed Brigid Simmonds OBE as its chair.
The Betting and Gaming Council will be dedicated to improving the gambling environment for a safe and entertaining customer experience. It will set the highest standards in tackling gambling related harm and build consumer and public trust in the gambling industry.
The Betting and Gaming Council will be fully operational in Autumn 2019 and will provide one voice for the industry.
Brigid joins the Betting and Gaming Council with an outstanding career in the leisure industry. Currently the Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, she has served on the Sport England Lottery Panel and the main board of Sport England. Brigid has twice chaired the Tourism Alliance and is also a former Trustee of gambling charity, GambleAware. Brigid was awarded an OBE for her Services to Sport in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2006.
Membership of the Betting and Gaming Council will be open to all gambling operators with a UK licence. It will comprise members from the online and retail gambling sectors, and we believe it will represent over 90% of the gambling sector (excluding the lotteries). All members will be required to adhere to a new Code of Conduct setting the highest standards for membership. Amongst its other functions, the new body will fulfil the roles of the Remote Gambling Association and the Association of British Bookmakers, which will be wound up when the Betting and Gaming Council is fully operational.
The new chair will now work with the industry to recruit a chief executive, with a formal launch of the Betting and Gaming Council in the Autumn.
Brigid Simmonds commenting on her appointment said:
‘’I am excited to be joining the Betting and Gaming Council as its first chair. 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. I firmly believe the UK regulated gambling industry should be recognised as the world-leading industry in terms of safer gambling. ‘’
John Coates, chairman, Remote Gambling Association said:
“Brigid has an outstanding track record of delivering strong leadership and I am delighted that she will be joining the new Betting and Gaming Council. I know she will drive co-operation across the industry on all safer gambling initiatives as it continues to come together to collectively address the challenges it faces.”
Paul Darling QC OBE, chairman, Association of British Bookmakers 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. Brigid brings a wealth of experience and her proven credentials with the Beer and Pub Association, speak for themselves. She will bring great insight to the new association as it focuses on building public trust in gambling.”