BGC names former MP Dugher as new chief executive

6 December 2019

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the newly formed trade association for the UK gambling industry, has appointed former Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Michael Dugher as its new chief executive.

Dugher will take on the role in spring 2020, once he steps down from his current position as chief executive of British music industry association UK Music.

Prior to his time with UK Music, Dugher served as represented the Barnsley East constituency as a Labour Member of Parliament between 2010 and 2017, during which he held a number of senior positions in the Shadow Cabinet.

Dugher is also currently a member of the UK Government’s Creative Industry Council.

“The betting and gaming industry is a hugely significant contributor to the leisure industry, to sport and to the UK economy as a whole,” Dugher said. “I look forward to working with Brigid and the members of the Betting and Gaming Council as we tackle the critical issues facing the sector.

“Like many millions of people, I enjoy having a bet; creating a safe gambling environment will be my top priority.”

BGC chair Brigid Simmonds added: “Michael brings a wealth of experience from his time in parliament and more recently as chief executive of UK Music.  He’ll bring great leadership, energy and experience to the Betting and Gaming Council and help deliver the ongoing change we need to ensure safe and enjoyable products.

“We share an ambition to make the UK the safest betting and gaming industry in the world. I very much look forward to working with him.”

First announced in July, the BGC officially launched last month, replacing the now-wound up Remote Gambling Association and Association of British Bookmakers.

Upon launching, the BGC revealed that £10m (€11.8m/$13.1m) of funding would be provided for a national education programme designed and delivered by the charities GamCare and YGam.

The BGC also recently announced new measures to help identify and reduce potential problem gambling in licensed betting offices. These include a new Anonymous Player Awareness System, a real-time algorithm that will run on gaming machines in shops, identifying areas of player behaviour that could indicate harmful play.