Neil McArthur has issued his first keynote address as leader of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
Officially appointed UKGC Chief Executive in April, McArthur takes leadership of the regulator at a turning point for the UK gambling sector and its wider stakeholders.
In his first address, McArthur outlines that like his predecessor Sarah Harrison, he will push for further diversity and inclusion agenda to create a fairer and safer UK gambling marketplace.
“I’m particularly pleased to be here to speak about diversity and inclusivity as we need more diversity in the gambling industry. For example, I am struck by the fact that after 12 years I am still a relative newcomer compared to many of the people I meet from the industry.”
“As I have said before, the challenges we all face is how to balance consumer choice and enjoyment against the risks gambling can create and its impact on wider society?”
McArthur strongly believes that there is ‘a link between, diversity and performance’, detailing that collaboration combined with collective strength can create a better industry with positive outcomes for its incumbents.
In his keynote address, McArthur details his own career journey, in which he changed professions from accountancy to law, noting the help he received from ‘more open-minded’ women in gaining legal work experience as a junior solicitor.
“I am very proud of where I have ended up, but it has been a long road and I have needed a lot of help from supportive bosses and employers along the way. This is why I’m passionate about people looking outside of the stereotypes and challenging assumptions.”
For McArthur, the challenge of creating a better gambling industry is geared more towards challenging the sector’s culture, rather than stakeholders adjusting to regulatory or technical demands.
Moving forward, McArthur urges industry leaders to think differently about inclusion and diversity, which should be developed as corporate strengths, which can improve their organisations;
“Key to moving beyond group thinking is diversity – not recruiting from the same pool. Moving beyond what looks, sounds and feels like us to be diverse in terms of backgrounds, ages, opinions. It’s this diversity that will create challenge, scrutiny, which in turn leads to the best thinking, the new ideas and the brave steps forward.”
“The initiatives that change the world come from this kind of thinking and without diversity of input at every level within your organisation you simply do not get that.”