Andrew Rhodes has been named Interim Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).
As the Commission’s acting CEO, Rhodes will take over from Sarah Gardner. Gardner took over as head of the regulator after Neil McArthur stepped down abruptly last March due to regulatory failures involving the high-profile collapse of Football Index.
The UKGC updated stakeholders by confirming that Rhodes has been hired as CEO for an 18-month period.
Rhodes comes to the UKGC from Swansea University, where he was Chief Registrar and Operating Officer.
Prior to his work in higher education, Rhodes held prominent positions in the Department for Work and Pensions, the Food Standards Agency, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
Rhodes has 20 years of experience in both commercial and public sector development, according to the UKGC.
First-class track record of delivery, strong leadership and innovation
Chairman of the UKGC, Bill Moyes, said: “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 over as CEO of the UKGC at a critical juncture in the regulator’s ability to manage and licence the UK gambling industry, which is a main focus of the government’s current review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
Last March, the Commission unveiled its new corporate strategy for regulating the gambling industry, in which it aims to prioritise customer affordability and consumer fairness protections.
Single customer viewpoint
The UKGC has asked for wider collaboration from private and public health partners to develop a “single customer viewpoint” for UK gambling to protect consumers in order to achieve its aims.
“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,” Rhodes said, confirming his new role and responsibilities.
“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.”