The Betting and Gaming consultancy was established by John Heaton in recognition of the unprecedented demand for ‘hands-on’ assistance to develop betting and associated businesses worldwide.  John explains:

“We offer practical assistance in the development of betting and gaming businesses not only in the UK but worldwide, covering varied jurisdictions and laws and helping our customers understand the local barriers to entry into the market.”

BGC’s Project Management services was established by Karen Heaton to help organisations manage change projects more successfully.  Karen explains:

“Projects and programmes can have a poor record of success – technology projects in particular.  Cobb’s paradox remains true today and says:

We know why projects fail; we know how to prevent their failure – so why do they still fail?



John Heaton Managing Director

John Heaton was Chief Executive of the UK Tote until 2004 having spent over 20 years with the company.  The Tote was a £1.5bn turnover operation and still holds the exclusive license to operate pool betting on horseracing in the UK and employed over 4,000 people.  It subsequently merged with BetFred in 2011.

In addition to pool betting, the Tote was also:

  • A bookmaker with over 500 shops
  • Telepone betting operation
  • Internet gaming business

During his time at the Tote, John held a number of key roles covering all aspects of the business and relationships with the wider industry including advising the government on the implementation of new betting legislation and regulation.   He has drafted statutes extending the Tote’s powers.

  1. Commercial Director
  2. IT Director
  3. In-house Lawyer
  4. Head of the Tote’s bid to run the National Lottery in conjunction with Autotote
  5. President of European pool betting organisations

Since leaving the Tote, he was Chief Executive of Interactive Gaming Holdings (then AIM listed), and currently holds multiple roles:   Members Committee of the Senet Group; Council member of Association of British Bookmakers; Executive Chairman of Scotbet and President of Richmond Rugby Club.

Karen Heaton Director

Karen Heaton has a wealth of experience spanning over twenty years gained in the UK and overseas.  Her exposure to many organisational cultures, processes and people gives her a unique perspective and determined focus to get things done.


Karen’s work in Industry has included technology – services and development,  retail banking, wealth and asset management as well as SME retail operations.


Her expertise focuses mainly on improving success rates on change projects and programmes where she believes it is essential to:

  • Quickly identify the roadblocks in project progress
  • Be brave enough to call out the roadblocks, even if that means addressing difficult organisational issues
  • Listen to all stakeholders

Karen has taken on a number of multi-£m projects which had run into trouble, and worked with project teams, suppliers, business units and Boards, to turn them around with tangible results and successful outcomes.


Her work across multiple organisations provides a unique insight into the same mistakes which are made over and again by companies implementing complex business change projects.  Her research on Learning lessons from Software Projects has been published in the Knowledge and Process Management Journal.


Karen has multiple project and programme management credentials including PMP,  MSP and Prince2.  She also holds an MBA and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.