According to a report by The Guardian, the amount of money that gambling companies spent on UK MPs increased tenfold over a five-year period.

The media outlet analyzed how the gambling industry has become one of Westminster’s best-connected sectors using publicly available Parliamentary records. The data highlights how dozens of Conservative and Labour MPs have benefitted to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds of corporate hospitality from gambling companies.

the true number is likely to be even higher

In 2022, the gambling industry gave about £87,000 ($108,228) worth of corporate entertainment, including things like tickets to sporting events, to 36 MPs. Only hospitality valued at £300 ($373) or more has to be declared, so the true number is likely to be even higher.

Some politicians now believe that the gambling sector has too much political power. Labour MP and gambling reform advocate Carolyn Harris said that the industry is “terrified of regulation” as about 10% of its customers generate about 60% of profits. Many gambling companies have been looking at ways to try to get upcoming gambling reforms watered down.

Earlier this week, Tory MP Scott Benton was suspended by the Conservative Party after he was caught in an undercover sting operation promising political favors to a gambling-related investor.