Gillon McLachlan, the former long-serving AFL chief executive, has been appointed to the top role at the listed betting company Tabcorp.

The appointment, promoted as one that will accelerate growth due to McLachlan’s deep experience in wagering and sports, comes amid growing scrutiny from health professionals, players, gambling addicts and fans who want to break the tight link between professional sports and gambling.

McLachlan is expected to take over as Tabcorp’s chief executive in early August, pending necessary approvals. He will receive an annual salary of $1.5m, with a variety of bonuses that could lead to him earning many multiples of his base wage, according to details disclosed on the ASX.