Happiness is not the natural human state. Striving for more is.
Dr. Craig Wright
4th September 2017  
 
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The Story

UK gambling operator Ladbrokes Coral was one of the top 10 companies which showered gifts and freebies to Members of Parliament within a 12-month period.

 

Woah there. Let’s talk about the list.

The list is called the Register of Members’ Interests. It is the annual list of freebies that MPs are required to reveal if the total of such gifts from a single source tops £300 over a one-year period. This year, included 187 donations from UK sources, of which more than 10% (19) came from betting companies. Ladbrokes Coral accounted for 15 of the betting firms’ donations and it only went to four MPs.

 

So why give such special treatment to these four MPs?

One of the four MPs is Tory Phillip Davies, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Betting and Gaming.

 

Totally makes sense.

Right? Davies thinks so too. In a statement, he said that his role at the APPG meant it would “be rather extraordinary if I didn’t” meet with members of the betting industry. On its part, Ladbrokes said that, “of course we engage with politicians” for the benefit of its 25,000 employees.

 

But lest we forget, what were the freebies in question?

These freebies included MPs receiving trips to races at Ascot, Doncaster and Cheltenham, the Football Association’s Community Shield event at Wembley Stadium, and dinner at the Conservative Party’s annual conference. Altogether, Ladbrokes Coral’s largesse toward these four MPs totaled £7,475.  

 

Takeaway

Despite the freebies showered by these betting companies to MPs, they are still at the losing end. The Tory government is likely to recommend further curbs on gambling advertising and reductions in the maximum stakes of the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) as part of its review of the UK gambling industry.

 
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