The newly-formed Betting and Gaming Council will now turn its attention to filling the chief executive’s office following yesterday’s announcement of Brigid Simmons as its chair.

Recruitment specialists Elwood Atfield have compiled a shortlist of potential chief executives, with Remote Gambling Association (RGA) CEO Wes Himes understood to be one of a handful of choices.

Simmons’ start date is October 21st, by which time the Betting and Gaming Council will expect to be up and running with a new CEO in place. Among its other functions, the new body will fulfil the roles of the RGA and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB), which will be wound up when the Betting and Gaming Council is fully operational.

The existing staff of both organisations expect to be retained but the new CEO will have his or her own thoughts on the structure of the new organisation.

Industry sources welcomed Simmons’ appointment after being impressed with a CV that takes in experience with GambleAware, Sport England and her current role as chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association.

In a statement, Simmons said: “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.”

As previously reported by Gaming Intelligence, the Betting and Gaming Council will bring together all sectors of the betting and gambling industry for the first time.

Membership will be open to all gambling operators with a UK licence. It expects to represent over 90 per cent of the gambling sector (excluding the lotteries) from day one. All members will be required to adhere to a new Code of Conduct setting the highest standards for membership.