{The Times Newspaper}

Fallacy: Tory MP Scott Benton defended the gambling industry in parliamentary debates and played down the detrimental impacts of gambling

Truth: Freebies aplenty

Paid mouthpiece, Scott Benton received gifts from the gambling industry worth £8,659, most of which was given between 17 June and 7 July 2021.

In these few weeks the Gamesys Group treated Benton to hospiltality at the England v Czech Republic football match, while the Betting and Gaming Coucil gave him hospitality at Royal Ascot. He also accepted hospitality tickets for Wimbledon and another international football match.

Coincidentally just after being given these gifts and in one case hours before attending a football match, Benton defended the gambling industry in two parliamentary debates. In one of these debates he said: “Casinos bring many benefits to local communities…their contribution to the national economy must be taken into account in the upcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005.”

He also said the government “must not lose sight of the enjoyment millions of people get from gambling” and argued that “people are sick and tired of being told what they can and cannot do.”

Benton eventually got his whip suspended after the Times revealed how he had offered to lobby minister, leak a confidential policy document and table questions in parliament on behalf of gambling industry investors (posed and recorded by the Times) for a wage of between £2000 and £4000 a month.