Tory Scott Benton represents a seat with high social deprivation, yet urged his constituents to back their local bookies, says Prof Rebecca Boden
Your story (Nine MPs accepted free Euro 2020 tickets from gambling companies, 15 July) highlights that Scott Benton, Conservative MP for Blackpool South, received a ticket to England v Czech Republic from Gamesys worth £1,537.60; hospitality to Royal Ascot from the Betting and Gaming Council worth £1,400; a ticket to Wimbledon from Entain worth £1,400; and another ticket from Entain to England v Denmark worth £3,457.
Benton sang for his supper. On 10 July the Betting and Gaming Council tweeted a video of Benton, explaining “during a visit to @WilliamHill in his Blackpool constituency, @ScottBentonMP highlights the huge contribution betting shops make to local high streets, the UK economy and horseracing as they look forward to the removal of the final #Covid19 restrictions on July 19”. The video shows Benton outside a branch of William Hill, urging people of Blackpool to go and spend money in betting shops because this was good for their community and the economy. Blackpool has one of the highest rates of social deprivation.