In his new role, Sharp will help and advise the GBG on key industry matters, such as the ongoing, government-led Gambling Act Review that launched last month.
Sharp has worked in the gambling industry for more than 40 years, including spells with companies such SG Gaming, Inspired Gaming Group, Stanleybet and Leisure Link.
“GBG has recorded some notable achievements since its formation seven years ago and it has done so by bringing a strategic approach to the development of the industry and also to its engagement with government,” Sharp said.
“The Review is a seminal opportunity that we cannot waste. It provides a chance to re-set the gambling entertainment proposition that we are able to provide consumers set against a robust commitment to safe gambling which is at the heart of everything GBG members do.”
GBG chief executive Peter Hannibal added: “There has never been a more crucial time for GBG to ensure that members’ interests are represented through evidence-based arguments and a compelling vision for the future.
“I welcome Steve to the role of GBG chair and the opportunity to draw on his cross-sector experience as we navigate these unprecedented challenges.”
The appointment comes after GBG this week criticised proposals from the GB Gambling Commission to introduce affordability checks, saying this could lead to an increase in players accessing unlicensed sites and a rise in problem gambling.
The Commission in November launched a consultation seeking feedback on its plans to introduce requirements to act on the information they have about a consumer’s potential vulnerability.
However, GBG has instead said such proposals should be put forward as part of the Gambling Act Review and scrutinised by the government before coming into effect.