The chair has decided the group will restrict its activities and its industry seminars will therefore be terminated, with the APBGG website also closed down.
Donoughue has resigned and emailed his letter of resignation to group members.When contacted by Gambling Insider for further comment, Donoughue exclusively told us: "'I have always believed in a plurality of voices in the gambling debate. It would appear that the APBGG, with its new chair's sponsorship by the BGC will no longer fulfil that ethos. "To be a proper forum you need to be independent and critical where necessary. It's a real shame to see the APBGG apparently heading down the same cul de sac of the All Party Group on Gambling Harms of just being a mouthpiece for its funders." Meanwhile, in his original letter, he wrote: "After discussions with the chair it has become obvious that my services are no longer required. "As I work, voluntarily, at the behest of the chair, there is nothing I can do about it and so my 15 years in the role must come to an end. "During this time I have enjoyed myself thoroughly under the expert joint chairmanships of Baroness Golding and Lord Lipsey followed by an enormously fun decade under Philip Davies MP. "As a group we have had a hugely influential impact on gambling policy and I feel proud to have been a part of it even if it was mostly just administratively." Donoughue added: "I think it is a crying shame that at this time when the expertise of the group is needed most, when the forces of prohibition and populism have never been stronger in their emotive and evidence-light attacks on a great industry and the potential of a massive black market explosion due to over-regulation, especially the fatally flawed concept of affordability, is imminent that the group has been effectively put in aspic and no longer has an independent voice. "This may or may not be due to the new chair's role as paid adviser to the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC), but it goes against the very nature of what the group was set up to be which was a forum for discussion about the gambling industry."