‘Bet £4,000 a month and get invites to top sporting events’

Gamblers who bet huge sums of money are being rewarded with invitations to major sporting events and holidays, it has been revealed.

MPs have called for action, with Iain Duncan Smith saying the Gambling Commission should conduct a “root and branch enquiry”.

It comes as a member of the House of Lords urged the Government not to delay its crackdown on addictive fixed-odds betting terminals.

Gold members

According to a Daily Mail report, one punter lost nearly £1 million while being given free tickets to Ascot, Cheltenham and Wembley.

Another was encouraged back into gambling after being offered tickets to football, horse racing and snooker events.

Ladbrokes operates a scheme where customers who spend £4,000 a month are given ‘Gold’ memberships – offering them numerous perks.

888Sport have a similar programme, with the business stating the more you bet, “the better the gifts, prizes and benefits become”.


Labour’s Carolyn Harris, who campaigns against gambling, responded by saying: “It never fails to amaze me how low the industry is prepared to go.”

The higher you climb the ladder the better the gifts, prizes and benefits become.


“We will continue our battle against this destructive industry and pledge to protect those who are currently the victims of a morally bankrupt and unscrupulous sector”, she added.

And Iain Duncan Smith added his voice to the concerns.


He said: “There now appears to be enough evidence for the Gambling Commission to hold a root-and-branch enquiry for what gambling companies do to fulfil their obligations to problem gamblers”.

Duncan Smith added that “those that fail to meet the standards required should be censured”.

Ladbrokes Coral responded by claiming its schemes are “operated responsibly”, designed to reward regular customers and aimed at achieving “customer loyalty”.

Ruined lives

Separately, in a letter to The Sunday Times, Baroness Masham of Ilton pleaded with Ministers to follow through on their pledge to clamp down on fixed-odds betting terminals.

In May, the Government announced a cut from a maximum £100 stake to a £2 stake. However, the move is reportedly being subjected to delays.

Baroness Masham wrote: “Having acknowledged that action needs to be taken, the government must place the vulnerable and their families before bookmakers’ profits and tax revenues, and implement stake reduction before more lives are ruined.”

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