Betting body secures services of top political journalist as comms director

Renowned political journalist Kevin Schofield is to leave his job as editor of the PoliticsHome website to become director of communications and digital at the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield, who has been appointed director of comms and digital at the Betting and Gaming Council
PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield, who has been appointed director of comms and digital at the Betting and Gaming Council

Schofield, who was headhunted by the BGC, will start his new role in the summer.

He will report to Gary Follis, executive director for corporate affairs, responsible for communications, government relations and membership.

"Outstanding hire"

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “The BGC is a new standards body committed to delivering big changes across the industry. To do that, we need top people. Kevin Schofield is one of the very best media professionals of his generation, he commands massive respect across journalism and politics, and he is an outstanding hire for the BGC.”

The fledgling gambling industry trade association was formed last year, replacing the Remote Gambling Association, the Association of British Bookmakers and the National Casino Forum.

Commenting on his appointment, Schofield said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Betting and Gaming Council and can’t wait to get started. I know that they have big ambitions for the years ahead and I’m looking forward to working with the team to help drive up standards in the industry.”

Track record

Schofield's career to date has been spent in journalism, including spells at The Sun, Daily Record, The Scotsman and The Herald. In nearly two decades covering politics, he has reported on six general elections as well as the Scottish independence and EU referendums.

He told PRWeek that the “time was right” for him to make a career change. “I've been a journalist for over 25 years, I've been in the lobby for 12 years and we've just come out of an incredibly hectic and hugely significant period of British politics… it just feels like a nice time to close one chapter and start a new one.”

New challenge

Despite not having worked in a comms role before, Schofield is confident that he is up to the task.

He said: “It will be a change, obviously, but it’s a relatively well-worn path from journalism into communications. I know a lot of friends who have done it and made a success of it, so I'm hoping I can do likewise.”

Schofield will not be short of things to do – not least dealing with the Government’s plan to review the Gambling Act. “It’s safe to say that will be a big focus when I start,” he said.

“We know there are positive changes that can be made to improve the experience people have when they’re gambling, and improve perceptions of the gambling industry as well, and I do see that as a massive challenge. It’s something that I'm very excited about.”

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