Top UK MPs Criticized for Accepting Hospitality from Betting Firms

The Liberal Democrats have criticized UK Conservative Party MPs Philip Davies and Esther McVey for receiving free tickets and hospitality from gambling companies, when the Government is reviewing gambling laws.

Liberal Democrats in Esther McVey‘s local constituency of Tatton have criticized their MP and her fellow MP husband, Philip Davies, for accepting gifts from gambling firms while the UK Gambling Act 2005 review is underway. This morning, the Daily Mirror unveiled that the MPs received $24,750 (£18,000) in free VIP tickets to events from private firms in just two months. The couple both declared free entrances for various betting events, including horse racing, motorsport, football and tennis matches and also received thousands of pounds worth of gifts from gambling industry operators. 

McVey made it public that she had accepted two tickets to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for the amount of $4,056 (£2,950) in the form of a donation. The pair also were gifted tickets from horse breeding firm Normandie Stud worth $1,031 (£750) each for Royal Ascot on June 15. The McVeys attended England’s final group match of Euro 2020 on June 22 with gifted tickets worth $2,114 (£1,537.60) each from online bingo and casino firm Gamesys

Entain Funds McVey’s Attendance of Euro 2020 Semi-Final 

Entain was the biggest factor of the pair, as it supplied tickets and hospitality for two major sporting events – England’s semi-final victory against Denmark in Euro 2020. Figures show that each ticket is worth $4,743 (£3,450) and, in addition, two $1,512 (£1,100) tickets to Wimbledon were also supplied the week before, on July 5. 

In response to the latter, the Tatton Liberal Democrats said: 

For a politician who prides herself on being in touch with the working man and woman, and on the side of hard-working, honest citizens, it must have come as a major embarrassment for Esther McVey MP that she has been found out accepting freebies to two major sporting events in June, from a betting company, who are at the forefront of the gambling industry’s attempts to resist changes in the gambling laws.” 

The list of MPs that took advantage of freebies includes 65 Conservative MPs, who declared free tickets worth a total of $220,016 (£160,000) between May and July. A total of 23 Labour MPs received $43,884 (£31,921) in ticketing and hospitality in the same period. 
 
 

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