Gamban Promote Dan Umfleet to CEO Role After Founders Departure
COO Daniel Umfleet has taken over the role of CEO at gambling prevention software maker Gamban. Umfleet replaces co-founders Matt Zarb-Cousin and Jack Symons in the Role.Umfleet has held the COO and managing director roles since March last year.
Umfleet’s promotion and the exit of Symons and Zarb-Cousin coincide with the company’s desire to move away from a traditional business model and become a non-profit entity. A move that would allow Gamban to receive charitable donations, something they are unable to do with their current status under UK business law. While stepping away from Gamban, both Symons and Zarb-Cousin have stated they still plan to work in the field of preventing gambling-related harm, and the chances are, like Gamban, it will be a technological product.
Zarb-Cousin has in recent years become involved with the Labour Party, and he served as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s media spokesperson between for eighteen months in 2016. Zarb-Cousin used his political connections well by raising support and awareness of ‘The Campaign for Fairer Gambling’ established by philanthropist Derek Webb.
Very few campaigns achieve the goal they were created to achieve, but that is exactly what Webb’s brainchild achieved. The goal of the programme which launched in 2013 was ‘Stop the FOBTs’, a campaign to reduce the maximum stake on these highly addictive machines to £2 a spin. Last year the government did indeed bring in this regulation, along with the £2 limit, much lower than the gambling industry had wanted. Zarb-Cousin was instrumental in this success.
Zarb-Cousin has recently started working as head of communications for Labour Party leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey. The Member of Parliament for Salford and Eccles is among the front-runners to replace Jeremy Corbyn. Long-Bailey is a staunch supporter of Corbyn’s policies, describing the current Labour Party’s leader’s performance as “ten out of ten”. It is therefore not surprising with their mutual links to Corbyn that Zarb-Cousin would like to work with the Labour leader hopeful.
Other staff movements at Gamban involve Maris Catania joining the board of directors. Head of responsible gaming and research at the Kindred Group, Catania said being on the board at Gamban would allow her to continue the work she has been performing at Kindred, she said;
As part of my role in Kindred for the last few years, consumer protection has always been part and parcel of my everyday work, being part of the Gamban board will give me a further opportunity in helping this happen even more, and I am delighted to be part of this new direction that Gamban are taking. – Maris Catania, Gamban Director
Gamban’s move into the charity space seems like a sensible one, especially considering the close relationship the company enjoys both with the gambling industry and other gambling harm campaigners such as GambleAware.
Carania’s appointment to the Gamban board comes less than six months after we reported on these pages that Unibet, which is part of the Kindred Group, had integrated the Gamban software into their online betting platform.
The UK’s leading gambling harm awareness charity GambleAware rated the Gamban software as 99% effective and gives access to the software free of charge to any person who had been referred from support services GamCare, the National Problem Gambling Clinic and the Gordon Moody Association.