The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) in the U.K. are going away. The two represent a combined group of more than 100 gambling operators in the country, all of whom will soon be represented by a single body – the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC). That entity is expected to become operational later this year.
One of the reasons for the changes is to develop consistency in how gaming is managed in the U.K. The BGC, which will be chaired by Brigid Simmonds, will work to develop new standards for gaming, address gambling addiction and to build trust in the gambling industry.
Simmonds, who is giving up her position as the chair of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) to take on the new role, states, “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.”
She adds, “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 U.K. regulated gambling industry should be recognised as the world-leading industry in terms of safer gambling.”
Simmonds is certainly no newcomer to the gambling industry. In addition to her position as chair of the BBPA, she has also been on the board of sports participation promotion group Sports England and was the chair of Tourism Alliance, a group representing the tourism industry in the country that is linked to the Gamble Aware gambling charity.
The current chairman of the ABB, Paul Darling, said of Simmonds, “She will bring great insight to the new association as it focuses on building public trust in gambling. 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.”