UK Tory MP Slams Affordability Limits

 

MP Mark Jenkinson, a vocal supporter of the gambling industry, has slammed the ‘nanny state intrusion’’ into public gambling habits, as there has been increased attention and discussions around increased regulation.

Writing in a column for the online political news source PoliticsHome, Jenkinson stated that targeted intervention should by no means breach individual liberties.

The column, which was a paid-for editorial from the BGC, was scathing in its comments regarding the proposed measures due to come out of the anticipated white paper into the Gambling Act 2005 review.

The Conservative MP has slammed the mooted affordability limits, comparing the plan to limiting how much people should be spending on alcohol.

Using a prominent BGC line, Jenkinson argued that technology should target those at risk from gambling-related harm rather than allowing the wider public to continue placing bets unabated.

He said: “Surely it’s better to use technology and the tools already available to devise a targeted approach? An approach that identifies those at risk and puts in additional protections while allowing the rest of the public to do what they love without nanny state intrusion? That would be the balanced approach.”

He went on to discuss in more detail the growing risk that is being posed by the black market. This column was published only a few days after the BGC released a survey reporting that 67% of gambling feared compulsory spending limits could lead to an increase in black market gambling.  This could result in a surge of gamblers playing at unlicensed sites, which do not offer the same levels of protection as licensed gambling sites, nor do they contribute to Britain in terms of tax.

Jenkinson said: “It is foolhardy to think betting with the regulated market is the only place the public can have a wager. Over-regulate the legal market, and frustrated punters will find another way to place their bets. The numbers using these sites have doubled and the amount staked is now in the billions.”

Jenkinson has joined a rather long list of politicians who are lobbying on the gambling industry’s behalf during an agitated period of regulatory change. It has been claimed that Jenkinson had received one hospitality ticket to see Ed Sheeran in concert in June from the BGC, worth £685.

The BGC also supplied Jenkinson with a £500 ticket to the Holocaust Education Trust Annual Appeal Dinner 2022 last September.

Both gifts were declared by the MP, and no suggestion of wrongdoing has been committed.

 

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