Steve Donoughue resigns from attending APBGG's industry forum closing seminars
Steve Donoughue resigned as secretary of the Parliamentary Betting Group (APBGG) following the nomination of its chairman, Laurence Robertson MP.
The chairman decided that the group would limit its activities, so its industry seminars would be closed and the APBGG website would also be shut down.
Donoughue resigned and sent a letter of resignation to the members of the group.
After contacting Gambling Insider for further comments, Donoughue said, “I have always believed in polyphony in the gambling debate. It looks like APBGG, with BGC sponsoring the new chair, will no longer live up to this ethos.
“To be a suitable forum, you need to be independent and critical where necessary. It is a real shame to see APBGG apparently following the same dead end All Party Group on Gambling Harms by simply being the spokesperson for its sponsors. "
Meanwhile, in his original letter, he wrote: “After talking to the chairman, it became clear that my services were no longer needed.
“Since I work voluntarily on the chair's recommendation, I can't help it, so my 15 years in this role must come to an end.
“During this time, I had a lot of fun under the joint expert guidance of Baroness Golding and Lord Lipsey, followed by an incredibly fun decade led by MP Philip Davies.
"As a group, we had a huge influence on gambling policy and I feel proud that I could be a part of it, even if it was mostly an administrative matter."
Donoughue added: "I think it is a crying shame that at a time when group expertise is most needed when the forces of prohibition and populism have never been stronger in their emotional and light attacks on big industry and the potential for a massive black market explosion caused by overregulation," especially the fatally flawed concept of affordability, it is close that the group has been successfully placed in jelly and no longer has an independent voice.
"This may or may not be due to the role of the new chairman as a paid advisor to the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC), but it goes against the very nature of setting up a group that was a forum to discuss the gambling industry."