UKGC appoints Andrew Rhodes as Interim CEO ahead of government probe

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed the appointment of Andrew Rhodes as its new Interim Chief Executive.

Rhodes will replace Sarah Gardner as the acting CEO of the Commission. Gardner took leadership of the regulator following the abrupt departure of Neil McArthur last March in light of regulatory failings surrounding the high profile collapse of Football Index. 

Updating stakeholders, the UKGC confirmed that Rhodes has been contracted to serve as CEO for an 18-month period.

Rhodes will join the UKGC from Swansea University where he served as the academic institute’s Chief Registrar and Operating Officer.

Prior to his role in higher education, Rhodes held senior roles at a range of organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions, Food Standards Agency and the DVLA.

The UKGC underlined Rhodes’ 20 years experience in both private and public sector development.

Bill Moyes, Chairman of the UKGC, commented: “Andrew has a first-class track record of delivery, strong leadership and innovation both in the private sector and in the civil service.

“I have no doubt he will prove to be an exceptional appointment here at the Commission and it comes at a time when the spotlight is on gambling regulation and operators. I am looking forward to working closely with Andrew as I prepare to hand over to a new chair in September.”

Rhodes will take leadership of the UKGC at a time when the regulator is facing critical evaluation of its ability to govern and licence the UK gambling sector – something which has been a key remit of the government’s ongoing review of 2005 Gambling Act.

Last March, the Commission launched its new corporate strategy to govern the gambling sector in which it seeks to place customer affordability safeguards and consumer fairness protections at the top of the agenda.

In order to achieve its goals, the UKGC has called for widespread collaboration from private and public health stakeholders to form a ‘single customer viewpoint’ for UK gambling to protect consumers.   

Confirming his new role and responsibilities, Rhodes said: “The Gambling Commission is one of the world’s highest-profile and most respected regulators so I am delighted to join the team at such an important time. 

“Protecting the public and players from gambling harm will continue to be central to our work and I am looking forward to meeting people from across the industry and those with lived experience to understand the issues and opportunities which lay ahead.

“This is a great time to have the opportunity to work in gambling regulation. The Government’s Gambling Act Review represents a fantastic opportunity to deliver real and sustained improvements in the way gambling is provided and regulated. As the regulator we have a unique and important role to play at the forefront of that change.”

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