RGT's latest board appointment divides opinion

RGT's latest board appointment divides opinion

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Totally Gaming
James Henderson has become an RGT trustee

William Hill chief executive James Henderson has joined the board of trustees of the gambling charity Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT).

Henderson replaces former Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn on the board, and has vowed to use his 30 years experience in the industry to aid the organisation.

“I am delighted to have been invited to join the board of trustees and look forward to having an opportunity to participate first hand in the charity's work,” said Henderson, who joined William Hill as a trainee manager in 1985.

“Responsible gambling is a key area that requires continuous focus and improvement and, therefore, I’m pleased to be able to combine my experience and knowledge with other Trustees to promote responsible gambling over the coming years.”

The RGT, which is funded by donations from the gambling industry, is a charity aimed at minimising gambling-related harm.

Chairman Neil Goulden said that Henderson’s appointment means the RGT board will maintain a balance between industry and independent trustees.

“Industry representatives make an important contribution to the work of the RGT and Richard was an excellent and collaborative trustee committed to helping the Trust to fulfil its charitable objectives,” he said.

“In recent years we have had representatives from Coral and Ladbrokes on the board of trustees and James will ensure that we continue to benefit from the experience and knowledge of bookmakers.”

Henderson’s appointment is not universally popular, however, with gambling industry critics pointing out that William Hill derives the majority of its retail revenue from controversial fixed-odds betting terminals. Adrian Parkinson, a spokesman and consultant for pressure group Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG), told TotallyGaming.com: “Any new trustee appointed to the RGT will certainly have FOBTs at the top of their in tray.

“For James Henderson that presents a dilemma as his company, William Hill, takes 51 per cent of land based revenue from FOBTs. With the government response to the Newham led call for a cap expected this month, the RGT and its recently-published FOBT research will figure prominently in the decision-making process.

“It is questionable whether industry representatives with such a vested financial interest in this product should be involved.

“I'm personally not sure whether people like Henderson bring experience to the table or just representation of sector interests.”


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