Neil Goulden announces retirement following questions over a conflict of interest
The Guardian newspaper in the UK reported Friday that Neil Goulden, chairman of the Responsible Gambling Trust, has announced his retirement from the problem gambling organisation.
The announcement follows conflict of interest questions regarding Goulden's dual role of lobbying for UK bookmaking companies, the Guardian notes.
Earlier this month, the Guardian revealed that Goulden had warned the gambling industry of the threat posed by "a vociferous anti-gambling lobby".
The newspaper referenced a January 2013 paper in which Goulden, then chair of both the RGT and the Association of British Bookmakers, suggested that "a large degree of righteous paternalism" would see the public mood "swinging away from smoking, heavy drinking, gambling, non-contributors and tax avoiders".
"Industry unity is essential as a rising tide lifts all ships," Goulden wrote, warning "a negative perception will spread like a virulent virus".
When questioned, Goulden defended the dual arrangement, saying that the trust "benefited from my industry knowledge and contacts".
"At no time did my two roles come into conflict," he told the Guardian in an email.
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