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GambleAware appoints Zoë Osmond as CEO

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Gambling awareness charity GambleAware has appointed its communications and engagement director, Zoë Osmond, to the position of chief executive, replacing Marc Etches in the position.

The charity said Osmond brings a “wealth of knowledge” to the role and added that she has a strong track record of driving business growth across the charity and in the wider business world having previously held chief executive, managing partner and global business director roles.

Since 2018, Osmond has led the delivery of GambleAware’s safer gambling and treatment campaigns, and has worked with stakeholders in public health, government, media, academia and the industry to ensure campaign success.

Through this work and the delivery of a comprehensive review of the charity’s strategic positioning and communications agenda in 2019, she has developed a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges the charity and sector faces, GambleAware said.

Prior to starting with GambleAware, Osmond held the role of chief executive for the National Advertising Benevolent Society, a national charity which supports those working in the media and advertising industries.

Commenting on Osmond’s appointment, Kate Lampard CBE, chair of GambleAware said: “In the past two and a half years that I and trustees have worked with Zoë, she has demonstrated to us that she fits the criteria we are looking for perfectly. Her knowledge and experience of GambleAware means she can hit the ground running, something that is of particular importance when starting a leadership role during a pandemic.”

“Her ability to work with a wide range of subject matter experts and her experience of transforming a charity, building businesses, and leading change will be instrumental in taking GambleAware to the next stage in its development.”

Osmond added: “GambleAware is at an exciting moment in its history, and over the past ten years, Marc Etches has done a phenomenal job in leading the charity to this point. It is a critical time for the gambling sector and the recent pledge of up to £100 million from the gambling industry means this is a significant time to shape and drive forward GambleAware’s vital work and develop its own expertise.”

“I am excited by the prospect of transformation and the opportunities now available to GambleAware to work with other organisations to prevent gambling harm and I look forward to taking on the challenge.”

This week, GambleAware revealed that operators had donated a total of £4.5m during the first three quarters of its 2020-21 financial year. Top donors Flutter Entertainment, Bet365 and William Hill donated £874,000, £763,000 and £540,000 respectively.

Today the charity released further details of funding commitments from Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) members, including the top 3 donors listed above in addition to Entain. BGC members said in June last year they would commit £100m to improving treatment services for problem gamblers in Britain.

It was agreed at that time that GambleAware would serve as the main commissioning agent for ensuring that the funds reach those requiring counselling and treatment.

GambleAware’s campaign to promote awareness of the National Gambling Treatment Service also launched this week, under the tagline “start to regain control”, and will target high-risk gamblers aged between 22 and 55 across radio, digital platforms and regional press.

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