In the United Kingdom, casino operator The Rank Group has announced that industry veteran John O’Reilly (pictured) will be replacing Henry Birch as its Chief Executive Officer after the latter declared in March that he would be stepping down in order to take the reins at online retailer Shop Direct.

The Rank Group is responsible for the Grosvenor Casinos chain of casinos and revealed that the executive change is due to take affect from Monday with Birch’s resignation becoming official from the same day.

Maidenhead-based The Rank Group is also behind the Mecca Bingo chain of British bingo clubs and detailed that O’Reilly has more than 25 years of experience in the local and international gaming and betting industries including stints with Ladbrokes and Gala Coral Group. It explained that he has most recently served as Chairman for digital design and development firm Grand Parade Limited while moreover holding non-executive seats on the boards of Weatherbys Limited and William Hill.

O’Reilly stated that he is ‘excited’ to be joining The Rank Group, which he described as being ‘synonymous with the United Kingdom gaming industry’, and intends to resign his post with William Hill in order to avoid any conflict of interest concerns.

“The Rank Group has very strong brands that resonate with customers and a growing digital offering and I look forward to building on this strong platform and taking The Rank Group onto its next stage of development,” read a Monday statement from O’Reilly.

Ian Burke, Chairman for The Rank Group, proclaimed that O’Reilly would bring ‘a wealth of gambling industry experience, particularly in digital’ to his new role before describing his previous track record in delivering growth as ‘impressive’.

Additionally responsible for the and online bingo and casino domains via its Rank Interactive business, The Rank Group moreover disclosed that its Retail Managing Director, Alan Morgan, is to be promoted to its board of directors and serve as its Executive Director from Monday.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our thanks to Henry Birch for his significant contribution over the last four years and wish him well in his future endeavors,” read a statement from Burke.