UK Politicians Who Accepted £279k From Gambling Operators Oppose Affordability Checks

  • Gambling reform groups want a cap on these types of contributions
  • New affordability checks are coming into place starting in August
  • Conservative MP Laurence Robertson got the most money
UK cash
UK MPs who accepted £279,000 ($354,358) from companies with links to the gambling sector are opposing the introduction of stricter affordability checks. [Image:]

Cause for concern

Some of the MPs in the UK who opposed the introduction of stricter regulations for on gambling companies received £279,000 ($354,358) from companies with links to the industry.

iNews reported that this money came in the form of donations, hospitality, and earnings since December 2019. Every MP has to declare these types of contributions; there is no indication that they acted outside of parliamentary rules or immorally.

could potentially lead to conflicts of interest

Proponents of gambling reform believe that this money could potentially lead to conflicts of interest and that a cap could be necessary to limit how much gambling companies can give.

New affordability checks coming up

One of the big areas of opposition from these MPs is stricter financial checks for people who are gambling. The government’s white paper from April 2023 proposed that those who had a net loss of £125 ($159) in 30 days or £500 ($635) in a year would have to be subject to enhanced financial checks. More stringent assessments would be necessary for bigger losses.

these new rules could lead to a significant drop in their revenues

Many operators pushed back, claiming that these new rules could lead to a significant drop in their revenues. Some MPs said that these checks would lead to people going over to black market sites, which could put vulnerable people in a worse position.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed last month that it will phase in new limits in August, starting with £500 ($635) in losses over a 30-day period. This will drop to £150 ($190) in February.

Big spenders

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the industry body for many UKGC-licensed operators, contributed more to MPs than any other entity, giving £128,656 ($163,406). Entain, which owns brands like Ladbrokes and Coral, was second on the list with £73,995 ($93,981), followed by Tattersalls with £20,000 ($25,402).

Hospitality tickets MPs got from the gambling sector included entry to Cheltenham, the Brit Awards, Ascot, and Wembley Stadium.

The biggest recipient of funds was Conservative MP Laurence Robertson who got £109,000 ($138,441). He received contributions from 11 companies and one of his roles is a safer gambling adviser for the BGC. Speaking about the new affordability checks, he said that they are the gambling sector’s “greatest ever threat.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *