Gambling Commission counsel gears up for act

The UK Gambling Commission’s new general counsel Neil McArthur has vowed to start preparations to ensure a smooth transition in preparation for the UK Gambling Act, which is due to come into force in a little over a year.

McArthur said his priority is to meet with Government officials, gaming companies and gambling charities to work out how best to enforce the new gambling rules.

McArthur said: “I’ll consult with other stakeholders about the role of the [Gambling] Commission and take best practices from other areas to make sure the new regime comes in smoothly and quickly in September 2007.”

The commission will regulate the industry to keep out criminal elements, make sure gambling is fair and protect children and the vulnerable.

McArthur says he has plans to hire more lawyers to help enforce these principles.

McArthur will start at the commission on 1 October, leaving his current role as general counsel of the General Teaching Council, where he worked for three years.

Prior to that McArthur was deputy general counsel at the Learning and Skills Council and has also held various roles in local government.

McArthur said: “My background is in public law and regulation. On face value the Gambling Commission and Teaching Council roles are different, but the legal issues are similar and I was very attracted by the challenge.”

The Gambling Commission currently outsources all of its legal work to Chris Parker, joint managing partner at niche firm Gregory Rowcliffe Milners.

“I haven’t met with the current lawyers as yet, but I will do at some point. There aren’t any plans as yet to set up a panel,” said McArthur.