According to the BBC, ten MPs from the two largest political parties were given tickets to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship, as well as other major athletic events.
Eight Conservative Party MPs and two Labour Party MPs were each given tickets costing between £1,537.60 and £3,457, with the two Labour Party members sitting in the Shadow Cabinet.
Power Leisure Bookmakers provided Labour Party Shadow Whip Mark Tami MP a £1,961 ticket to the England vs. Germany match, while Entain awarded Labour Party Shadow Education Minister Toby Perkins MP a £3,457 ticket to the England vs. Denmark match.
Meanwhile, Entain gave tickets to the England vs. Denmark semi-final match to Scott Benton MP, Philip Davies MP – a long-time backer of the betting and gaming sector – Esther McVey MP, and Laurence Robertson MP, all for the same price as Perkins’ ticket.
Scott Benton has received a large number of tickets, including a £1,537.60 ticket to the England v Czech Republic group round match from Gamesys Group, a £1,400 hospitality package from the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), and a £1,100 Wimbledon ticket from Entain.
The betting and gaming sector gave the Blackpool South MP a total of £7,500 in football, tennis, and horse racing tickets.
Additionally, the same corporation, the holding group behind Ladbrokes and Coral, gave Shipley representative Davies and Tatton MP McVay £1,100 Wimbldeon tickets.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, Director of Clean Up Gambling said: “While the government reviews our gambling laws, it’s no surprise to see the betting industry on a charm offensive.
“Thankfully the vast majority of MPs are in favour of gambling reform, but legislators should think twice about accepting hospitality from a sector that derives the majority of its profits from people experiencing harm.”
Furthermore, according to statistics published by the BBC in 2017, sports and betting industries topped the list of gift and hospitality givers to British MPs.
All MPs are required by parliamentary regulations to declare any gifts or hospitality that could affect their words, actions, or decisions as legislators.
The news comes as the UK government continues its review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which has seen the relationship between sports and the betting industry, particularly football, come under increased scrutiny.
A ban on sponsorship deals between sports teams and gambling companies has been highlighted as a potential conclusion of the study, which is said to have the support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet, forcing Premier League clubs to address the future of their sponsorship deals in March.