Latest reports have revealed that British Members of Parliament (MPs) have received wages and freebies worth more than £200,000 from the country’s gambling industry over the past year.
According to reports published by The Guardian, a total of 28 Members of Parliament – 9 members of the Labour Party and 19 members of the Tories – have either received payments or have been given hospitality from gambling operators since August 2020. All the occasions were officially included in the register of members’ interest. They total £224,281.
As The Guardian revealed, Tory MP Scott Beton spoke against anti-gambling laws in the Commons mere hours before attending a Euros football match with a pass he had received by Entain. Another MP – Labour’s John Spellar – supported casinos in the House of Commons after being present at England’s match against Germany as a guest of Paddy Power.
Earlier in 2020, in July, in an article sponsored by the trade body of the UK gambling industry – the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) – the MP from the Conservative Party Mark Jenkinson shared he was greatly concerned about the betting limits imposed by the Government on the sector. Less than a month later, the BGC took him to Ascot.
Top 6 Gambling Industry Beneficiaries among British Members of Parliament Revealed
As recently reported by Casino Guardian, the last few weeks have seen British Members of Parliament facing allegations of bad practice, since many of them have been found to have been engaged with second or even third jobs linked to the gambling industry alongside their commitments to the Government.
According to reports, the one who has benefitted the most from the gambling industry’s willingness to gather a strong lobby was the Conservative Party MP Philip Davies. He had accepted approximately £50,000 as an advisor of Entain on customer service and safer gambling practices. Apart from that, he had accepted hospitality worth a combined £8,695 from the Betting and Gaming Council, Flutter Entertainment and Gamesys.
The British gambling giant Entain was also reported to have spent almost £41,000 on hospitality for an overall of 13 Members of Parliament over the summer, while the gambling industry’s trade body – the BGC – spent about £20,400 on escorting legislators to various sports events.
According to The Guardian, the top six Members of Parliament who have received salaries and hospitality from local bookmakers and casino operators were: Philip Davies (£58,675), Laurence Robertson (£33,3096), Scott Benton (£7,495), Nigel Adams (£7,417), Aaron Bell (£6,955) and Esther McVey (£6,094). All of the six lawmakers are members of the Conservative Party.
For the time being, there is no suggestion that the aforementioned Members of Parliament broke any gambling laws or rules regulating the sector. However, their actions have raised certain concerns about the apparent attempts of the gambling sector to get the favour of as many politicians as possible, while the existing system doing nothing to actively prevent this.
The gambling industry has been enhancing its offensive in order to get a strong lobby that would support less restrictive measures in terms of the sector at a time when the UK Government is considering a massive overhaul of the legislation that could significantly curb the profitability of many online casinos and sports betting operators.