Sarah Harrison the punters’ champion at the Gambling Commission

‘We want people to enjoy gambling but we want them to do it safely, we want them to be treated fairly,’ says the chief executive

‘Far more willing to show her teeth than her predecessors were” is the first thing a betting industry source says when asked to assess Sarah Harrison’s first two years in charge at the Gambling Commission. The chief executive has ruffled feathers with her determination to enforce standards and bookmakers are now keenly aware that exposure of a significant lapse may lead to them being belted with a six-figure fine.

Harrison undoubtedly has a reputation for having slipped some lead into the Commission’s glove. Just this month she heralded a new enforcement strategy with the words: “We will take robust and effective action when gambling companies don’t meet their obligations.” Misleading or ambiguous advertisements have attracted fines of £300,000 and £150,000 this year. Betfred, Coral and Paddy Power found themselves having to pay six-figure sums last year after being found at fault in other ways.

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