Rumoured RGA and ABB merger seeks to alter industry perceptions

UK betting seeks to revamp its public image and wider perception as UK news sources report a potential merger between trade associations Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB).

A job post on executive search site Ellwood Atfield reports on the formation of ‘NEWCO’, “the working title for a new industry body representing the gambling sector, replacing the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB)”

News of a rumoured merger of the trade bodies follows a disruptive 2018 for UK betting in which operators were marred by multiple record UKGC penalties, and the controversial handling of the £2 FOBT judgement.

In 2019, betting leadership seeks for a better representation of the industry to all stakeholders – the government, media, legislators, UK health networks, and the wider community.

NEWCO has been formed to address new industry regulations and restrictions which would otherwise impact industry operators, in addition to become the new “point of contact” between the trade association and industry stakeholders.

Confirmed through Ellwood Atfield, NEWCO seeks both a Chair and CEO to lead “the largest and most prominent organisation representing the gambling industry,” changing perceptions of the industry at a public and political level.

The new recruit will be tasked with acting as “the industry’s advocate with key opinion formers at the most senior level across the Government, media and the wider industry.”

The job advert added: “The Chair will build and maintain trust in the gambling industry, both within the industry itself and with external stakeholders.

“This is a rare opportunity to have a real impact in shaping and leading both an industry body and the industry itself.”

The RGA is set to undertake a leadership restructure following the departure of long term Chief Executive Clive Hawkswood, announced last September 2018.

Malcolm George, Chief Executive of the ABB, backed changing industry perceptions by pointing out that sector stakeholders have to fight for a fair PR and news narrative reflective of the industry as a business.

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