Public Sector: O'Driscoll to assemble Gambling Commission team

The Gambling Commission is to build a comms arm and has appointed Museums, Libraries and Archives Council head of comms Jo O'Driscoll to lead it.

During O'Driscoll's six-month secondment she will appoint a team to manage public affairs, external relations, internal comms and stakeholder relations at the commission, which becomes operational from October.

The commission is also likely to take on an agency after its move from London to Birmingham next year.

Headed by eight commissioners, the body replaces the Gaming Board for Great Britain, taking on greater control of all forms of gambling in the UK. Its brief is to ensure gambling is fair and safe, to protect children and vulnerable adults, and to tackle problem gambling.

The organisation will be much more public-facing than its predecessor, with responsibility for regulating remote and internet gambling, all lotteries and TV gambling channels. For the first time it will provide independent regulation of the horse racing and betting industry, said O'Driscoll.

'Our major challenges will be regulating online and TV gambling - we need to create safeguards to make sure children aren't using them,' she added.

One of the commission's first tasks will be to consult stakeholders such as industry members, government and children's bodies on how to improve regulation.

O'Driscoll reports to chief executive Jenny Williams. The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council is on the hunt for her replacement.

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