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Vennix confirms his ABB departure

06 February 2015

FORMER chief executive Dirk Vennix said yesterday he was leaving the Association of British Bookmakers in a healthy position as he confirmed he was leaving the trade body after nearly four years at the helm. 

Former Betfair legal chief Martin Cruddace has been brought in as interim chief executive by the ABB, which represents 80 per cent of the British betting shop industry. The Racing Post first reported the news of Vennix’s impending departure last month. Vennix said in a statement yesterday: “It has been a privilege to lead a trade association which is an exciting and integral part of the UK’s retail leisure industry. “Over the last four years we have built strong foundations for a more socially responsible sector.  I am very proud of what has been achieved by the ABB team and members and have enjoyed being part of it. “Now I feel it is the right time, from a personal point of view, to pursue new challenges and opportunities.”

Vennix joined the ABB in April 2011 from the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, where he was director of communications. Much of his time was spent defending the industry from attacks by campaigners and politicians over gaming machines and betting shop proliferation ABB chairman Paul Darling said: “It is with regret we are announcing Dirk’s departure. He h a s made a tremendous contribution to the development of the ABB as a trade association. “We are very grateful to Dirk for his strong leadership and knowledge and particularly for the key role he has played as the industry’s advocate during a period when our sector has faced considerable challenges.”

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