The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has named Neil McArthur as its new chief executive officer.

McArthur has held the CEO role on an interim basis since the departure of previous chief executive Sarah Harrison in February.

A qualified solicitor, he has served as general counsel for the UKGC since 2006 and was promoted to executive director in August 2016. He previously served as an in-house lawyer for a number of public bodies such as the Learning and Skills Council and General Teaching Council for England.

He confirmation as chief executive follows what the regulator described as "a thorough search and highly competitive process to recruit the role."

"Neil's appointment is great news for the Commission," UKGC chair Bill Moyes said. "He brings to the role a thorough understanding of gambling issues and regulation, along with proven commitment to making gambling fairer and safer.

"I'm looking forward to working even more closely with Neil as he leads the Commission to make significant progress in raising standards, protecting consumers and the public from gambling related harm and improving the performance of the National Lottery."

Commenting on his appointment, McArthur said he was proud of the regulator's achievements of the past twelve years, but that more needs to be done to make gambling fairer and safer.

"Ensuring consumers are empowered to make informed choices about gambling while addressing and reducing the harms that can come from gambling is a challenge that cannot be overcome by us alone," he explained.

"It needs continued strong partnerships with other regulators, consumer representatives and government. Most importantly, it requires gambling operators to treat their customers fairly and they can expect us to be tough but fair in making sure they meet their responsibilities."