LONDON—Gala Coral Group has named its first corporate affairs director, amid mounting political opposition to its gaming machines.

Fiona Thorne takes on the position in early April, after departing her role as Fishburn CEO last year.

Reporting to CEO Carl Leaver, Thorne will oversee public affairs, financial PR, corporate positioning and issues management.

A campaign against fixed-odds betting terminals, which account for around half of bookmakers' profits, has gathered steam in recent months, suggesting the possibility of regulation. 

"It is critical for our business, and for the wider industry, that we are able to engage fully in the important debate about the role that betting and gambling has to play in our society," said Leaver, noting that Thorne's "experience and expertise" will "help us have the dialogue we need with all those who have an interest in the sector." 

For her part, Thorne admitted that the Gala Coral is "not without its challenges and critics."