When it was announced that the crackdown on fixed-odds betting machines could be delayed for up to two years, Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson made his feelings loud and clear: ‘The state of this government. It’s pathetic,’ he tweeted.
That outburst wasn’t the only time Watson has called for action against the bookmakers. Here he is describing gambling as Britain’s ‘hidden epidemic’ and urging football clubs to cut their ties with the bookies:
‘Kids more than ever are exposed to gambling adverts, and it’s no surprise to me then…that gambling addiction has gone up by an estimated third in recent years. There is a problem: the current arrangements are not fit for purpose, and we’re asking football clubs who have been targeted by gambling adverts to…scrap these ads, take them off the TV and show some leadership…’
But it seems that Watson’s campaign doesn’t stop him from getting freebies from the bookies when it comes to football. The Labour MP has admitted that he received four tickets to the Championship play off final at Wembley last month worth £400 courtesy of…‘Sky Betting and Gaming’:
Still, there is some reassurance for Watson having enjoyed the bookies’ hospitality: at least Sky Bet is no longer owned by his old friend Rupert Murdoch…