The recent media attention on second jobs held by MPs has renewed concerns about the power of companies with vested interests to influence the policy process. An independent audit since August 2020 shows that 19 Conservative MPs and 9 Labour MPs were beneficiaries of gambling industry wages and freebies totalling almost £225,000.
A recent independent poll commissioned by RSPH found that over three quarters (76%) of the public oppose the gambling industry having influence over politicians. This position was particularly high among people in the AB and C1 grade, and those aged over 55.[1]
The Gambling Health Alliance, a coalition of policymakers, NGOs and charities, call on MPs to refuse funding and gifts from the gambling industry, to remove themselves from the influence of industry and follow the evidence to prevent and address gambling related harms.
Dr Jyotsna Vohra, Director of Policy at RSPH said:
“MPs need to be vigilant to approaches from the gambling industry and avoid any conflict of interest by rejecting offers of funding or hospitality. To protect public health from industry interference, we need our politicians to be both transparent and accountable.
“MPs should listen to the public, who overwhelmingly oppose gambling industry influence over our politicians.
This is a crucial time for gambling legislation, and it is vital that the changes to the Gambling Act are evidence-based and effectively reduce the harms produced by gambling. Gambling related harms cost our society £1.27 billion a year, destroy lives, and disproportionately impact our most vulnerable communities.”

[1] The poll of 12,247 people across Great Britain was carried out by YouGov between 18 Feb and 18 Mar 2021. Data is available upon request.