ESSA announce new chair following board restructure

BBi - GVC ESSA Heike Mayer
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International betting integrity body, ESSA, has elected a GVC’s Heike Mayer as its new Chairperson and expanded the membership of its board.


ESSA has confirmed it has appointed a new chair with GVC’s Heike Mayer succeeding outgoing ESSA Chair, Mike O’Kane, who has held the position since 2012.

The board has also expanded to reflect its growing membership, with Betway’s Jon Russell and David Foster of Paddy Power Betfair strengthening the board of directors.

The company claims Heike Mayer, who is responsible for Public and Regulatory Affairs at GVC, is well-versed in the issues facing the sector and moves from her position as Vice Chair of ESSA.

“I’d like to thank Mike for all of his hard work over the last five years. He has done a great job in repositioning the association and has been an influential and vocal advocate of ESSA members and our sector in general. There are a number of key issues and opportunities facing the industry going forward. I will be working with my board colleagues to deliver and implement a strategy that meets those challenges and maintains the strong working relationships that ESSA has built,” Mayer said.

The company’s Secretary General Khalid Ali explained that: “The expansion of the board reflects a desire to ensure that we are best placed to represent the association’s increasing membership and to meet the ongoing challenges facing the sports betting sector. We are very fortunate to have a wealth of experience and knowledge within our membership to help drive us forward to achieve our goals.”

In addition, ESSA has confirmed it holds positions on match-fixing policy forums at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the IOC. It is driving a number of activities aimed at addressing match-fixing, including a player education programme with EU Athletes and an international project, entitled “Keep Crime out of Sport”, led by the Council of Europe; both receive funding from the European Commission. ESSA also recently released its Q1 2017 report, available here.

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