UK gambling lobbying has increased rapidly over past 5 years
A recent analysis has shown that firms in the UK gambling sector have increased their spending on parliament members by over 10 times throughout the past half a decade.
According to a recent analysis conducted by the Guardian, over the past five years, gambling industry firms have increased their spending on UK MPs by over ten times, making the sector one of the most well-connected in the British parliament.
The analysis highlighted that in 2022, various industry organizations had spent about 87 thousand Pounds for 36 parliament members, while in 2019 the sector spent just shy of 8 thousand Pounds and had only half a dozen recipients. Moreover, 2021 saw the figure spike even higher to just under 115 thousand pounds for 25 MPs.
Most of the members that received gifts got free tickets to sports events, although some also were gifted tickets to various concerts and other shows. As an example, the BGC took four parliament members to the Brit Awards for around 7 thousand Pounds in 2022.
In 2023, the sector has already spent over 13 thousand Pounds. Interestingly, the BGC has been the only organization to spend money on MPs so far, which the Guardian’s analysis attributes to the council’s increasing prominence.
All of the figures come from public records that the United Kingdom’s parliament members have to disclose, however, the real total number is likely much higher, as any gifts worth under 300 Pounds are not mandated to be disclosed.
The analysis was conducted after a recent scandal unfolded involving a member of the UK’s conservative political party, Scott Benton, who was willing to lobby for a fake gambling firm that was part of an investigation carried out by The Times reporters. In addition to breaking the parliament’s code of conduct, the now-suspended MP also suggested the fake gambling organization limit certain gift prices to below 300 pounds.