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Collins steps down from News UK role to return to start-ups

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Simon Collins has stepped down from his role as managing director of betting and gaming at media giant News UK, in order to pursue a new start-up opportunity.

Collins joined News UK in November 2019, where he oversaw a portfolio including bingo brand Sun Bingo, racing affiliate Sun Racing and fantasy sports product Dream Team.

Collins said that while he enjoyed his time at News UK, he wanted to return to the start-up space.

He has previously been involved with two high-profile gaming businesses. He was a co-founder of Foxy Bingo operator Cashcade, that was sold to PartyGaming in a £95.9m deal in 2009. Following the acquisition he ran an investment fund for the operator.

Collins, along with many of the Cashcade team, then went on to establish Gaming Realms, where he worked until 2019.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at News UK,” Collins said. “It’s been a pleasure to work with such a talented team to develop some of the most popular gaming products in the UK environment – from Dream Team to Sun Bingo.

“That said, my roots – and my heart – lay in the start-up space, and the lure of the new opportunities there was just too strong.”

Scott Taunton, chief executive of News UK’s Wireless brand, said Collins had delivered strong results for News UK’s betting and gaming arm.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Simon for his hard work and entrepreneurialism over the last year,” Taunton said. “Simon has led the betting and gaming team during an important phase, focusing on new product development alongside driving strong revenues in this space.”

Collins will be replaced as managing director of betting and gaming by Jo Bucci, currently general manager of The Sun.

Bucci has served as The Sun’s general manager since 2019 and was previously Wireless’ chief operating officer.

She also has gambling industry experience, as managing director of The People’s Postcode Lottery for 11 years.

During this time, she also spent 19 months as chair of The Lotteries Council.

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