Some records revealed that gambling operators have invested a lot of money in making donations to UK Members of Parliament (MPs) at a time when the country’s Government is reviewing local gambling laws. It also became clear that operators even hired two MPs, while expecting the authorities to make historical changes to the country’s Gambling Act.
As Casino Guardian previously revealed, gambling companies have already faced accusations that they are befriending politicians by offering them gifts or financial support to Members of Parliaments in return for their support.
According to reports, the trade body of the UK gambling industry – the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) – hired the former chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Betting and Gaming and current MP from the Conservative Party, Laurence Robertson in October last year. As revealed by the register of interest, Mr Robertson receives approximately £24,000 by working as a sport and safer gambling parliamentary advisor for the BGC. What has been considered even more surprising, is the fact that data suggests he works only 10 hours per month.
After he was employed by the organisation representing the UK gambling operators, Mr Robertson has backed the sector’s claims that the stricter new rules on the country’s gambling industry are too strict. As he said in Parliament, the overhaul of the legislative and regulatory framework will probably give no other option to consumers but to turn to companies operating on the black market. Mr Robertson is also known for his pro-gambling industry activity outside of Parliament, with him regularly posting on Twitter to support the sector.
Two Members of Parliament Hired by UK Gambling Operators
According to reports, the Betting and Gaming Council hired Mr Robertson approximately at the same time when Phillip Davies MP was hired by the British gambling group GVC Holdings. Records have revealed that Mr Davies has been working as an advisor for the gambling company since October 2020 and received around £13,000. He received a further £50,000 for the same job.
It is important to note that the engagement of the aforementioned Members of Parliament with the gambling industry does not necessarily mean that they have violated Parliamentary rules. However, some experts believe their appointments are not fully transparent, especially at a time when the UK Government is set to implement significant changes to the country’s Gambling Act.
Furthermore, the appointments of the two Members of Parliament came at a time when gambling companies have offered various donations, gifts and hospitality to a large number of MPs. Reportedly, many of these political figures have received hospitality, including passes to various sports games and other events, from Power Leisure Bookmakers, Entain and the Betting and Gaming Council.
The Government is set to unveil its proposals for changes to the country’s gambling legislation at the beginning of the following year. Some reports have suggested that one of the expected changes may include a ban on VIPs. According to experts, the act of appointing MPs on the payroll of the gambling companies could enhance the gambling lobby among politicians, which would affect the Government’s impartiality in the process of ensuring stricter regulation of the sector.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.