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Laurence Robertson: Conservative MP defends paid position advising betting group and denies battle of curiosity | Politics Information

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A Conservative MP who has publicly argued towards toughening restrictions on the on line casino business has denied his position as a paid adviser to a betting group is a battle of curiosity.

Laurence Robertson’s entry within the register of members’ monetary pursuits exhibits he’s paid £24,000 to behave as “parliamentary adviser on sport and safer playing” for the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

Mr Robertson receives £2,000 monthly for an “anticipated” 10 hours of labor, which might equate to an hourly charge of £200.

The BGC states on its web site that “because the requirements physique for the regulated UK betting and gaming business, excluding the Nationwide Lottery, we characterize betting outlets, casinos, on-line and bingo”.

It provides: “We work with our members, giant and small, to drive excessive moral requirements, create a tradition of safer betting and gaming and construct public and institutional belief in our world class business.”

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Sky Information has contacted the BGC for remark.

The scrutiny of Mr Robertson’s position, highlighted by a report in The Instances, comes amid questions on MPs’ second jobs and further work on high of their parliamentary roles within the wake of the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal.

Earlier, Conservative former lawyer basic Sir Geoffrey Cox defended himself following studies of how he is earned lots of of 1000’s of kilos for further authorized work.

In a debate on the UK on line casino business in July, Mr Robertson argued towards introducing “too stringent” restrictions and warned there was a “nice hazard” of pushing individuals in direction of the black market.

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When the federal government launched a overview of the Playing Act in December 2020, Mr Robertson stated through the debate that betting corporations make an “huge contribution” to horse racing and stated the train needs to be “evidence-based, constant and balanced”.

He reiterated this in September, asking Chris Philp, the brand new parliamentary under-secretary on the Division for Digital, Tradition, Media and Sport, to substantiate “it can stay the federal government’s coverage to make sure that it’s evidence-based and evidence-led”.

On two of those three events, Mr Robertson drew MPs’ consideration to his entry within the register of members’ monetary pursuits – he didn’t accomplish that when making his contribution in December.

In a press release despatched to Sky Information, Mr Robertson stated his “concern has primarily been to guard the horseracing business” which “relies upon closely on betting corporations” for revenue.

I Like To Move It ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies (right) on the way to winning the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham racecourse. Picture date: Saturday October 23, 2021.
Cheltenham racecourse falls in Mr Robertson’s constituency

“Provided that I’ve Cheltenham racecourse in my constituency this isn’t an unreasonable stance for me to take,” the Tewkesbury MP stated.

“I’ve warned to not drive individuals onto the playing black market – once more, not an unreasonable stance to take.

“And I’ve not initiated any of these debates, which is the essential level so far as the principles go.”

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