UK Gaming Industry to Welcome New Cross-Platform Trade Body

The UK gaming industry will wave goodbye to two long-standing trade associations but welcome a new one in the autumn.

Brigid Simmonds Betting and Gaming Council

Brigid Simmonds will help lead a new UK gaming trade body known as the Betting and Gaming Council. (The Morning Advertiser)

News of a merger between the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) first broke in February.

Although no official statements were made, job adverts for a new trade body were posted online. Fast-forward to July 3 and the two bodies have confirmed they’ll be replaced later this year.

UK Gaming Evolution Calls for New Trade Body

Replacing the RGA and ABB will be the Betting and Gaming Council. An amalgamation of the two departing entities, the industry representative will work with gaming operators across the UK.

As per the press reports, the Betting and Gaming Council will cover 90 percent of the industry’s interests, excluding lotteries.

What’s interesting about the move is that it reflects the convergence between online and offline gaming. As the UK gaming industry has evolved, the divide between the two sectors has faded.

In fact, today, almost every major brand is aiming to homogenous their products and create seamless links between their online and offline interests.

As well as reflecting the current state of the industry, the Betting and Gaming Council will push for better standards for all.

Over the last five years, the RGA and ABB have been at the centre of the UK gaming industry’s biggest issues.

When the government first proposed changes to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), the ABB acted. Criticising the government’s initial report, ABB chief executive Malcolm George called for greater transparency.

In December 2017, the RGA pushed for a problem gambling levy. Urging UK gaming operators to spend more on tackling the problem, the RGA has led the charge for better standards from within the industry.

Betting and Gaming Council to Push for Better Standards

Commenting on the aims of the Betting and Gaming Council, chairwoman Brigid Simmonds said she will continue previous efforts to protect consumers.

The gambling industry is a hugely significant contributor to the leisure industry and to the economy. There are, however, critical issues facing the sector and that is why I will ensure that creating a safe gambling environment is the top priority,” Simmonds said in a press release.

The new UK gaming industry trade body will take charge once the RGA and ABB officially wind up their duties.

In the interim, Simmonds will lead an effort to find a chief executive and formalise the Betting and Gaming Council’s mission statement.

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