Willetts will take on his new role in the new year and be assisted by deputy director of communications and digital, Michael Denoual.
Willetts joins the BGC following a spell as press secretary to Conservative Cabinet Minister Ben Wallace and head of ministerial communications at the Ministry of Defence.
Prior to this, he spent more than 10 years working for The Sun newspaper. He replaces Kevin Schofield, who left the association to become political editor of the Huffington Post.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Betting and Gaming Council and can’t wait to get started,” Willetts said. “They’ve already made big strides increasing standards across the industry and I’m looking forward to working with the excellent team to drive that work on.”
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher added: “The BGC is the standards body committed to driving big changes across the regulated betting and gaming industry. David Willetts is a brilliantly experienced and respected former journalist and communications professional with an outstanding reputation in the media and in government.
“David will be a formidable asset for the BGC. He also joins a strong team which includes the superbly talented Michael Denoual.”