The body representing the country’s biggest bookmakers has appointed a new chief executive after a six-month review into its operations, as the industry gets ready to front a federal inquiry into gambling harm.
Responsible Wagering Australia – which represents gambling giants including Sportsbet, PointsBet and Ladbrokes – has appointed former policy adviser Kai Cantwell to lead the group from April 17. Cantwell worked in various government roles for more than a decade, including as a senior executive in the department of social services where he implemented the national consumer protection framework for online gambling, before joining technology group Oracle.
Cantwell will be tasked with representing the online wagering industry and advocating for its members, which have been accused of division and misalignment over the past year, as the debate surrounding gambling regulation has intensified.
Former chief executive Justin Madden resigned in November after one year in the role to “pursue other business interests”, setting off intense speculation into the future of the body. Responsible Wagering Australia’s chairman and former Howard minister Nick Minchin then commissioned an independent review into the structure of the organisation which is collectively responsible for 32,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in various taxes every year.
The advisory business of Sportsbet’s former chief legal officer Julie Ryan, JR Consult was engaged to conduct the six-month review. Ryan declined to comment as the contents of the review are confidential, but sources close to the industry body said it recommended significant investment into developing responsible wagering research and better coordination with gambling harm experts. The body is also expected to focus on recruitment over the coming months to bolster Cantwell’s team and play a more active role in the regulation of the sector.
Minchin told this masthead Cantwell was uniquely positioned to meet the challenges facing the industry, which is currently grappling with new advertisement regulations enacted by the Albanese government, point of consumption tax increases in key states, as well as looming parliamentary hearings into gambling harm next month.
“His deep understanding of social policy, sports, wagering and government position him perfectly to lead RWA and its members as we continue to promote socially responsible wagering and advocate for the highest standards in the sector,” Minchin said.
Minchin will represent Responsible Wagering Australia at a public hearing in Canberra on April 4 as part of the parliamentary inquiry into gambling harm. Sportsbet and Entain – the owner of Ladbrokes and Neds- will also appear as individual entities. Tabcorp, which is not an RWA member, is also scheduled to take part.
Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.