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Marc Etches has announced that he will step down from the role as chief executive of GambleAware at the end of March 2021, after almost a decade in the role.

Under his stewardship GambleAware has seen a substantial increase in funding and donations, with leading members of the Betting and Gaming Council also having recently committed further funding of £100m for the next four years.

The charity now boasts £40m of grant funding under active management, which is to help GambleAware in developing the National Gambling Treatment Service with its partners across England, Scotland and Wales.

Etches commented: “It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve as CEO for nearly a decade and I am enormously proud of the charity’s development and the contribution it makes, in partnerships with others, to keeping people safe from gambling harms.

“With the prospect of a new era of increased funding and wider commissioning responsibilities, it is the right time for the charity to find someone with the skills and expertise necessary to take it into the next stage of its evolution.

“I want to thank the board of trustees and the entire staff team at GambleAware for their hard work and commitment to the charity’s purpose as well as for their magnificent personal support of me.”

The process to select a new chief executive will be led and overseen by GambleAware’s board of trustees, with the group seeking an individuals with appropriate expertise, including in commissioning healthcare services, who will be able to continue to ensure gambling harms are understood and tackled as a matter of public and individual health and wellbeing.

Kate Lampard CBE, chair of GambleAware, said of the impending departure: “It has been a pleasure working with Marc over the past four years and he has taken the charity from strength to strength.

“As a result of his hard work, GambleAware has developed the expertise and sustainability to continue to deliver and work with partners across the healthcare spectrum to prevent and protect against gambling harms. I look forward to continuing this important work with a new chief executive next year.”  

Brigid Simmonds, chairperson of the Betting and Gaming Council, also commented on the news: “During his tenure, the contribution from the gambling industry towards research, education and treatment of problem gambling has continued to increase, allowing GambleAware to expand the range of treatment services it provides across the UK.

“That is in no small part due to the leadership Marc has offered. Although fiercely independent, GambleAware has worked closely with our members to help inform their approach to safer gambling. I have known and worked with Marc for many years. 

“He has been an excellent CEO. We wish him every success in the future and look forward to working with his successor to continue the drive towards higher industry standards.”