UK-listed gaming operator Rank Group has appointed former Ladbrokes CEO Christopher Bell to its board as a senior independent director.

Bell, who also serves as non-executive chairman of XLMedia and newly listed TechFinancials, will begin his new role with effect from June 1st. He will also serve on Rank's audit committee.

He has over 20 years' experience in the betting and gaming industry, having joined the Hilton Group in 1991 and taking over as managing director of the company’s Ladbrokes Worldwide business in 1994.

He joined the board of Hilton Group in June 2000 and, following the disposal of its hotels division in February 2006, he became chief executive when it was re-named Ladbrokes plc. He held this position until May 2010. Prior to joining Hilton Group he held a number of senior positions at drinks manufacturer Allied Lyons for 12 years.

"With his extensive experience of the gambling industry and his considerable corporate experience, I am delighted that Chris is joining the board of Rank and I look forward to working with him as we proceed to deliver our strategic priorities,” said Rank chairman Ian Burke.

In addition to his positions as non-executive chairman of XLMedia and TechFinancials, Bell is a non-executive director of Spirit Pub Company and the senior independent director of Quintain Estates & Development. He was chairman of The GAME Group until March 2012.

Bell is also a board member of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, which advises the Gambling Commission and the Government on policy and strategy in this field, and a trustee of the Northern Racing College.