MPs Who Opposed Tougher Gambling Regulations Benefit From Betting and Horse Racing Industry

Law & Politics Crime
Alan Evans

Updated by Alan Evans

News Writer

Last Updated 11th Jun 2024, 03:25 PM

MPs Who Opposed Tougher Gambling Regulations Benefit From Betting and Horse Racing Industry

Those who make the laws break the laws is a phrase we hear all too often today. There are also those who oppose calls for tighter regulations and benefit from the target of said regulations.

A point in case relates to three MPs who have benefitted via hospitality, earnings, and donations from within the betting and horse racing industry. The hospitality included tickets to Royal Ascot, Cheltenham, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Wembley Stadium, and the Brit Awards. 

John Spellar, Matt Hancock, and Sir Philip Davies are MPs who joined others in opposing the Government’s proposals for financial risk checks for  those who gamble. 

Although the MPs are entitled to the hospitality and have declared what they have received, there are some who would consider something as important and far reaching as this to be a conflict of interests. 

Some are calling for politicians to avoid any form of free handouts from the gambling industry, including sports betting and casino sites, in total. Some of these calls come from charities dealing with the fallout and harm caused by gambling addiction.

Related Reads: 

Tougher Gambling Regulations Could Drive Gamblers to the Black Market

There is a view that tighter regulations and restrictions would fuel a black-market area for gambling via the dark web.  

Sir John Whittingdale, the Conservative candidate for Maldon, reportedly flagged concerns around the black market and said: "If you make it too hard for people or put too many burdens on people who want to gamble in a safe way and who can afford to do so, then they will resent that and there is a risk they will look elsewhere." 

Whittingdale added: "The danger of driving people towards the black market is a real one and needs to be borne in mind." 

It is a claim the Gambling Commission has dismissed, saying that the threat has been "overstated" and that it is "very difficult for illegal operators to get access to the UK market." 

Little Change to Regulations Despite Possible Change of Government   

If the Conservatives win the General Election, it is likely that the changes will be implemented under the existing proposed Government plans in a white paper. That will have to be revisited following the General election, especially if Labour forms the next UK Government. As we have reported previously, there is nothing in the Labour Manifesto to suggest any major changes.  

Companies handing out to MPs include: 

  • Entain  
  • Betting and Gaming Council 
  • Ladbrokes and Coral 
  • Paddy Power 
  • Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment  
  • William Hill 
  • Tattersalls 
  • Merkur Gaming UK

Meet The Author

Alan Evans
Alan Evans
News Writer News Writer

Most of my career was spent in teaching including at one of the UK’s top private schools. I left London in 2000 and set up home in Wales raising four beautiful children. I enrolled at University where I studied Photography and film and gained a Degree and subsequently a Masters Degree. In 2014 I helped launch a new local newspaper and managed to get front and back page as well as 6 filler pages on a weekly basis. I saw that journalism was changing and was a pioneer of hyperlocal news in Wales. In 2017 I started one of the first 24/7 free independent news sites for Wales. Having taken that to a successful business model I was keen for a new challenge. Joining the company is exciting for me especially as it is a new role in Europe. I am keen to establish myself and help others to do the same.

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