The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) recently made an important announcement regarding its leadership structure. After serving as CEO for five years, Paul Foster has decided to step down from his position, paving the way for Nicholas Macias to assume the role of secretary general.
Foster’s decision to resign was driven by his desire to focus on other business ventures and projects outside of the GBGA. Additionally, Merel Swarts, the GBGA coordinator, will also be leaving her position. However, she will continue to work alongside Foster as the head of human resources at Crucial Compliance, a compliance consultancy that Foster founded and currently leads as CEO.
In light of these changes, the GBGA made the strategic decision to replace the CEO position with that of a secretary general. Nicholas Macias, who previously served as the GBGA’s chief operations officer, will return to the organization to assume this new role. Macias boasts extensive experience in the Gibraltar gaming sector and has held senior compliance positions since 2014.
As part of the leadership restructuring, Angela Almeida and Bua Malamalatabua will take on additional responsibilities in administration and operations at the association. Almeida and Malamalatabua have already been contributing to the GBGA’s website and social media management, as well as meeting and event set up as part of the team known as “The Dream Team.”
Nigel Birrell, the chairman of the GBGA, expressed his well wishes for Macias in his new position and highlighted the contributions that Almeida and Malamalatabua would be making. He also acknowledged the pivotal role played by Merel Swarts in the GBGA’s operations and administration work over the past few years and extended gratitude to her while wishing her success in her future endeavors.
Looking ahead, Birrell emphasized the association’s commitment to evolving its strategy in the coming months. This includes providing support and guidance to stakeholders in understanding and adapting to the new Gambling Act in Gibraltar, as well as the revised licensing regime and updated codes of practice resulting from it.
In addition to the leadership restructuring, it is worth noting that back in 2021, the GBGA launched the Gibraltar Gambling Care Foundation (GGCF), a charity aimed at reducing gambling harm and protecting at-risk consumers. While the GGCF is funded by the GBGA, it operates independently, collaborating with consumers, industry leaders in gaming, and government regulators to achieve its objectives.
The GBGA’s recent changes in leadership reflect its commitment to adapt and evolve in response to the evolving gambling landscape. With Nicholas Macias taking the helm as secretary general, alongside the support of Angela Almeida, Bua Malamalatabua, and the wider team, the association aims to continue serving its stakeholders and contributing to the advancement of responsible gambling practices in Gibraltar.