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Director biographies

Neil McArthur - Chief Executive

Neil McArthurNeil McArthur is the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive and is responsible for the development and effective delivery of the Commission’s strategy. Neil is also the Accounting Officer for the Commission.
Neil joined the Commission in 2006 and has played a leading role in the evolution of its approach to licensing and regulation.

Prior to being made Chief Executive Neil was the Commission’s General Counsel. He qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and is a graduate of Leicester Polytechnic and Leicester University and has previously worked for a number of public bodies including the General Teaching Council for England, the Learning and Skills Council and several local authorities.

Role

The Chief Executive is our senior executive and is responsible for the development and effective delivery of the strategy agreed by the Board of Commissioners. He manages our staff through the Executive Group comprising the directors reporting to him and, as Accounting Officer, is responsible for the proper management and financial governance of the organisation.

Sarah Gardner - Executive Director

Sarah GardnerCurrently on maternity leave
Sarah joined us in 2009 and has since held a number of senior management roles.

Sarah spent most of her earlier career as a civil servant in a number of government departments covering a wide range of topics including tax, European and international policy, consumer protection, competition, better regulation, small business and enterprise policy. 

Responsible for:

  • Consumers
  • Lotteries
  • Regulatory strategy

Tim Miller - Executive Director

Tim Miller
Tim joined us in August 2016 building on over 15 years of experience across the regulatory and public sector. Tim was previously Head of Policy and Communications at the Local Government Ombudsman and prior to that was Head of Public Affairs at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. These roles followed ten years with the Law Society of England and Wales in a variety of regulatory posts.

Tim is Vice Chair of Coventry Citizens Advice, one of the largest CABs in the country. He is also founding Chair of the Central Schools Trust, a multi-academy trust that runs several primary schools across Solihull. 

Responsible for:

  • Corporate affairs
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Evidence and analysis

David Pemberton - Executive Director

David Pemberton
David joined us in 2017. Previously, as a member of Business in the Community’s executive team, he was responsible for corporate services, business planning, and the public facing campaigns on workplace diversity. He has also worked for Credit Suisse, PwC, Nissan, and Ford.

Responsible for corporate services including:

  • IT
  • Planning and risk.

Paul Hope - Interim Executive Director

paul hope 1Paul joined us in 2014 to lead work on consumer protection and safer gambling. He previously worked for Ofwat, the economic regulator for the water industry, where he held a number of leadership roles. He has also worked as an economist at HM Treasury and the Bank of England.

 Responsible for

  • Regulatory policy and strategy.

 

Richard Watson - Executive Director

richard watsonRichard joined the Commission in 2012, he is responsible for the team that conducts criminal and regulatory investigations under the Gambling Act 2005. He also leads the team who gather intelligence from the public, law enforcement and government agencies as well as other regulators.

Responsible for

  • The Betting Integrity programme which includes the specialist sports betting intelligence unit (SBIU). Richard leads the Anti- Money Laundering team who direct policy and operational engagement across government and towards the industry.

 

Nicky Heathcote - Interim Executive Director

nicky heathcote Nicky joined us in May 2018, following 10 years in a varied Chief of Staff role at HM Land Registry where she was responsible for domestic and international policy, strategy and business development, stakeholder and parliamentary engagement, Corporate Communications, media and public affairs, Executive Board governance, employee engagement and leadership networks. Nicky has worked on a number of cross government agendas including housing, transparency, anti-corruption, counter-fraud, infrastructure, devolution, asset sales and international development.

Responsible for

  • National lottery third licence and government relations.

Helen Venn - Executive Director 

Helen Venn Helen joined us in 2014. She qualified as a solicitor in 1995 working in private practice as a criminal defence solicitor and has held leadership roles at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and the Criminal Cases Review Commission

Responsible for

  • The teams who undertake licensing and compliance.