Brigid Simmonds, the current chair of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), will be stepping down in April. She has held the position since the BGC was established in 2019, and has been an influential figure in representing the UK’s gambling industry. Her replacement, Michael Dugher, will leave his role as the BGC’s chief executive to take over as chairman. The search for a new chief executive will begin soon after.
In a statement, Simmonds expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to work with the BGC and the industry it represents. She highlighted the importance of the regulated betting and gaming industry, as well as the efforts to raise standards and promote safer gaming practices. Simmonds thanked those who have supported her and contributed to the successes of the BGC during her tenure.
Dugher, who will be taking over as chairman, will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of a white paper released in April 2023 that outlines the regulation of gambling in the UK. The BGC has shown support for the government’s proposals, particularly in relation to casino reform, but has also raised concerns about potential financial implications that could impact the industry.
Despite the BGC’s efforts to represent and advocate for the gambling industry, it has faced criticism from some quarters. Industry expert Jon Bruford has questioned the effectiveness and purpose of the BGC, accusing it of further polarizing opposing sides. The BGC has also faced scrutiny over its handling of issues such as gambling advertising and its response to concerns about responsible gambling.
With the transition in leadership, the BGC will continue to navigate the complex landscape of gambling regulation while addressing concerns and criticisms from various stakeholders. The industry will be closely watching as Dugher takes on his new role as chairman and the search for a new chief executive commences.