Betting and Gaming Council appoints Entain’s Grainee Hurst as CEO

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The Betting and Gaming Council has appointed Grainne Hurst as its new Chief Executive Officer, a role she will take up in the coming months.

Hurst brings significant betting and gaming sector experience to the BGC, joining the council from Entain where she has been Group Corporate Affairs Director since March 2018.

She steps into the CEO role following the announcement back in January that Brigid Simmonds would step down as Chair on April 20, 2024, with current CEO Michael Dugher replacing her.

The BGC noted that Hurst’s appointment was confirmed with members this week following a rigorous external recruitment process.

Commenting on her new role, Hurst said: “I am delighted to be joining the BGC at such a crucial time for its members and the millions of customers they serve. I am very grateful to Michael Dugher for everything he has done in establishing the BGC and I look forward to working closely with him to move it forward.

“My focus will always be on ensuring that we have a well-regulated industry which protects customers and looks after their interests. The betting industry in the UK has world-leading businesses and iconic brands and I will work hard to ensure they remain so. There is much to be done and I look forward to getting started.”

With Entain, Hurst is a board member of the Entain Foundation. She also created and delivered the company’s global safer gambling strategy ‘Changing for the Bettor’. 

Alongside her work with Entain, she is also a Global Gaming Women board member and helped with its international expansion to the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

She was previously Head of Public Affairs for Ladbrokes Coral, a special advisor to the UK government and studied at King’s College London and Queen Mary University in London.

Dugher stated: “Grainne’s appointment is excellent news for BGC and our members. She won a very tough, external recruitment process and clearly demonstrated that she has not only mission-critical knowledge and experience in the regulated industry – both online and in the land-based sector – but also a strong vision for continued change and improvement at the BGC.

“Driving further progress on safer gambling, whilst ensuring that the tens of thousands of people who work in the industry continue to have their voices heard, will remain at the heart of everything we do.

“Grainne’s wealth of experience, impressive leadership qualities, formidable campaigning skills and acumen will be essential in working with all of our members to take the BGC to the next level.

“She is someone who is rightly widely respected across the industry and, as I step back to become Chair of the BGC, I am confident she will work well with our talented staff to make a decisive impact as our new CEO.”

Ian Proctor, Executive Chair of Flutter UKI, added: “The BGC’s role has never been as important as we move into a new era where the Government and Gambling Commission work with industry to implement the recommendations from the White Paper from a year ago.

“Grainne’s appointment as Chief Executive is a vital step in ensuring we engage constructively at every level while championing those who work in the industry and offering the best service possible to our customers.”