The chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) Sarah Harrison is set to leave her role early next year.

Harrison is stepping down at the end of February to take up a senior position in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

She has served as UKGC CEO since June 2015, and during her tenure has overseen a drive to ramp up the regulator’s efforts to protect players and enhance social responsibility controls.

"The Gambling Commission has set an ambitious agenda and clear priorities for treating customers fairly and making play safer and our new three-year strategy embeds this approach for the future," UKGC chairman Bill Moyes said. "Sarah's impact has been significant in shaping this direction of travel.

"I and my board colleagues wish Sarah every success for the future and look forward to continuing to work with her to deliver this agenda over the next few months."

Commenting on her time as CEO, Harrison said: "I am proud of the work that all at the Commission have delivered together. I am very confident that as the Commission delivers its new strategy it will go from strength to strength and will continue to make gambling in Britain fairer and safer."

A search for Harrison's successor has already been launched, with UKGC chief counsel and executive director Neil McArthur to take on the CEO role on an interim basis upon her departure.

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