The Blackpool Gazette has revealed that Blackpool South MP Scott Benton’s register of interests showed the Tory MP has very recently accepted £7494.60 in hospitality and free tickets to major sporting events from gambling firms based in this country and abroad. These freebies were all accepted between 17th June 17 and 7th July. The details have been gathered by the Blackpool Gazette from scrutiny of the MPs Register of Interests.
These hand-outs from gambling firms have been enjoyed by MP Benton whilst he uses not only his web-site. https://www.scottbenton.org.uk/news/scott-benton-mp-calls-blackpool-super-casino, but also his voice in Parliament to strenuously call upon the Government to authorise a new ‘regional’ or ‘Super-Casino’ in the town. MP Benton says: ‘I have visited a number of casinos, including the ones in my constituency. Casinos bring many benefits to local communities. Casinos also make a substantial contribution to the Treasury.’
The Tory MP obtained:
- Hospitality at Royal Ascot, worth £1,400 from the Betting and Gaming Council
- A ticket and hospitality for Wimbledon worth £1,100 from Gibraltar firm Entain Operations
- A ticket and hospitality at the Euro 2020 England v Denmark Semi-Final, including a ticket and hospitality at the England v Denmark semi-final worth £3,457 from Entain Operations (Entain Operations owns multiple gambling sites across the UK, including bookies Ladbrokes and Coral)
- A ticket and hospitality at the Euro 2020 England v Czech Republic game worth £1,537.60, from online casino and bingo Gamesys Group.
Mr Benton’s push for a review of the case for a super casino in Westminster Hall came during a special debate on 7th July, the same day the Blackpool South MP received a free ticket and hospitality from Entain to watch England beat Denmark 2:1 in Euro Semi-Final at Wembley. On that day, Mr Benton asked the Culture Secretary John Whittingdale: ‘Will the minister commit himself to reviewing the case for a regional casino during the gambling review and assess the significant positive economic impact that a regional casino could make to a town such as Blackpool, which would be the obvious location to host such a casino?’
The Blackpool Gazette add that Mr Benton’s actions have been called into question this week by Blackpool residents, political opponents and a gambling addiction group.