GamCare names top PRO as 'super-casinos' loom

Gambling addiction charity GamCare has signed up its first comms director.

Former College Hill partner Nicola Crewe-Read (née Weiner) joins 12 months before so-called ‘super-casinos' are expected to open across  the UK.

GamCare provides support for gambling ­addicts and looks at the social impact of gambling addiction. Earlier this year it warned that the number of women gamblers was rising, blaming the rise of internet gambling.

It has also been lobbying regulators to introduce controls on TV quiz shows, which it claimed were using a loophole to describe themselves as ‘prize competitions' to sidestep gambling rules.

Crewe-Read will spearhead a proactive comms drive and be the charity's first point of contact for the media.

‘Until now, GamCare's communications have been mainly reactive,' she said. ‘My task is to make sure we are pushing our new developments to the press.'

Establishing the charity with social affairs and political writers on the nationals and major regional titles would be crucial, she said.

GamCare is funded as an arms-length organisation by Responsibility in Gambling Trust. The charity is not seeking sponsorship from the industry for fear its impartiality would be called into question, and Crewe-Read's remit does not include fundraising.

‘I have no plans to hire an agency and it is too early to say whether we will be hiring new comms staff,' she added. She reports to CEO Geoffrey Godbold OBE.

Some of the charity's senior staff and trustees, including president Lord Andrew McIntosh and Godbold, have political backgrounds, which Crewe-Read intends to use to develop its lobbying clout.

Crewe-Read was a partner at College Hill for seven of her nine years there, leaving in 2002.

Since then she has worked in property in Sri Lanka and has freelanced as a PR consultant for the past 18 months. She was an investment banker before moving into PR.

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