Michael Dugher


Betting and Gaming Council

Michael Dugher would succeed Brigid Simmonds as the Chair of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC). Since he joined the Council on February 2020, he has been responsible for lobbying and representing his members across the UK gaming industry.
  • University of Nottingham


In October 2021, the BGC received an award from three Armed Forces charities after its members raised £1.25m to help support the work of The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

In recognition of the initiative, Dugher received a glass triptych titled “Battle Through the Looking Glass” from Brigadier Peter Walker OBE.


Dugher worked as the CEO of the BGC from February 2020 until April 2024, where he would step down from him CEO duties and succeed Brigid Simmonds as Chair.

Dugher previously worked as CEO of UK Music between May 2017 and February 2020.

Prior to that, he had a long career in politics having served as MP for Barnsley East, Shadow Secretary of State for DCMS, Shadow Transport Secretary, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Shadow Minister for Defence.

His political career includes his roles as Chief Political Spokesman to the Prime Minister, serving as Special Adviser to the Government and being Chief Whip.

He also was the UK Director Of Government Relations, Special Adviser to the Leader of the House of Commons, Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence, Special Adviser for the Department for Transport and Head of Policy for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union.

In October 2022, Dugher defended Safer Gambling Week against industry reformists who criticised the campaign.

One of the reformists was Will Prochaska, Strategy Director of Gambling With Lives, who described the initiative as a “cringe campaign” meant to hide the damage done by the betting industry.

Dugher responded and condemned “anti-gambling prohibitionists,” saying: “Even if you don’t like betting, how can anyone be against safer gambling? What’s wrong with encouraging people to set limits on the amount of time or money they spend on betting?”


As part of an initiative to prevent underage gambling, the BGC provided £10m to support and create an evidence-led programme of education, training and support for young people between the ages of 11 and 19 throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the BGC helped organise the donation of all profits on the Virtual Grand National going towards the NHS.

The virtual race raised £2.6m ($3.2m) for NHS Charities Together. At the time, Dugher said: “I am proud so many BGC members up and down the country are supporting in so many different ways the national effort to combat Covid-19, including here by contributing all of their race profits to NHS Charities Together.”

“So in the same way – and I’m not talking myself down here – I don’t know what’s going to be in the White Paper, and neither does Rob Davies. He and Tom are campaigning journalists, not news reporters. That’s perfectly legitimate, they’ve got the campaign, and that’s a legitimate part of the noise. But let’s be honest about where we’re coming from. I’m honest that I represent the industry, I think campaigners are honest when they talk about who they represent as well, but let’s not pretend to be something we’re not." Michael Dugher

Interviews and public speeches

In January 2022, Dugher sat down with Gambling Insider Editor Tim Poole to discuss his life and career as part of the CEO Special.

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