Following the departure of Sarah Harrison as head of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in February, the authority announced that Neil McArthur has been officially appointed as its new CEO.
McArthur has been acting as the UKGC's interim head for the past few months, a role he took on as the authority searched for a replacement for Harrison. However, it seems that he proved his ability to step into her shoes, and the UKGC made his appointment official this week. He begins his new role effective immediately.
The UKGC said that McArthur was selected "after a thorough search and highly competitive process to recruit the role."
Surprise Exit by Harrison
Last December, Sarah Harrison said that she would be stepping down in February 2018 in order to take on a top role with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Her departure was seen as a surprise, after she become the main overseer of the country's gambling activity in 2015 and was expected to stay much longer in her role.
Announcing her departure late last year, Harrison expressed confidence in the UKGC's new three year strategy to ensure "fairer and safer" gambling in the UK, with sweeping changes to the way the industry is regulated.
McArthur is Qualified Solicitor
A qualified solicitor, Neil McArthur served as the gaming regulators general counsel since 2006. He became executive director in 2016. Before joining the UKGC, McArthur worked as an in-house lawyer for the General Teaching Council for English and in other roles.
Neil McArthur said about his appointment: "I'm looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead to make gambling fairer and safer. I am really proud of the Commission's achievements over the last 12 years, but there is a lot more to do."
Understanding UK Gambling Issues
The chair of the UK Gambling Commission, Bill Moyes said that McArthur's appointment was excellent news for the UK Gambling Commission.
"He brings to the role a thorough understanding of gambling issues and regulation, along with proven commitment to making gambling fairer and safer," said Moyes. "I'm looking forward to working even more closely with Neil as he leads the Commission to make significant progress in raising standards, protecting consumers and the public from gambling related harm and improving the performance of the National Lottery."
McArthur himself added that ensuring that UK consumers are empowered to make informed choices about gambling, while addressing and reducing the harms that come from gambling, is a challenge that cannot be overcome by the UKGC alone.
"It needs continued strong partnerships with other regulators, consumer representatives and government," he said. "Most importantly, it requires gambling operators to treat their customers fairly and they can expect us to be tough but fair in making sure they meet their responsibilities."See our Gambling Laws page