Hawkswood has chaired the association since it was formed by founding members Racing Post, Oddschecker and Better Collective in May 2019.
“During the Autumn I advised the RAiG board that I intended to step down as its chair,” Hawkswood explained. “Given my other commitments it was clear to me that I would not have the time to do full justice to the role once the government’s gambling review got into full swing.”
“We have used the intervening period to address RAiG’s work programme for next year with the pending review in mind. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved at RAiG who, from the first day, have been extremely helpful and supportive.”
His replacement, Cian Nugent, serves as managing director of racing for affiliate and media business the Racing Post. He previously worked for betting exchanges Matchbook and Entain’s Betdaq.
“I’m pleased to be able to represent our industry during the crucial next phase in the development of policy and regulation of the gambling sector,” Nugent said of his new role.
“Our focus will be on education and lobbying and engaging constructively with the government and interested politicians,” he said. “Affiliates play a key role in providing enjoyable and safe environments for consumers – facts which we want to see recognised in any new laws governing our industry.”
RAiG said it is also appointing a new advisory team to assist with its responses to the government’s upcoming review of the Gambling Act, as well as wider political engagement to ensure the industry is better understood in government.
On the review of the Gambling Act, Hawkswood encouraged all in the affiliate sector to get behind RAiG and be involved with the review. He pointed out that established industry practices which did not exist in their current form when the Act was written in 2005 are now likely to come under scrutiny.
In June last year, RAiG members expressed support for an affiliate licensing regime in Great Britain, having conducted a thorough internal review of existing social responsibility and responsible gambling standards.
Members noted, however, that their support would be conditional upon seeing more detail as to what such a system would entail, and having a better understanding of the benefits it would provide for consumers.
Any system introduced would not need to be expensive or burdensome, it said, and would only supplement an extensive range of regulations with which affiliates are already expected to comply.