Gambling Commission rumoured to be investigating Rishi Sunak's aide over election bet

Rishi Sunak's aide Craig Williams is speculated to be under investigation by the Gambling Commission for betting on an election date before its official announcement.

investigating case

Craig Williams, parliamentary private secretary to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is speculated to be under investigation by the Gambling Commission after placing a £100 ($127) bet on the date of a July election just three days before the official announcement.

Williams confirmed that he made the bet with bookmaker Ladbrokes on 19 May in his local constituency of Montgomeryshire.

Williams admitted to making the bet some weeks ago and acknowledged the potential implications.

Williams stated on social media: "I've been contacted by a journalist about Gambling Commission inquiries into one of my accounts and thought it best to be totally transparent. I put a flutter on the General Election some weeks ago. This has resulted in some routine inquiries and I confirm I will fully co-operate with these. I don’t want it to be a distraction from the campaign. I should have thought through how it looks."

The alleged bet, which could have resulted in a £500 payout, raises questions about the use of privileged information for personal gain. According to a Conservative Party spokesperson, the matter is being treated as a personal issue for Williams. They noted that using confidential information to gain an unfair advantage when betting could be considered an offence of cheating under Section 42 of the Gambling Act, which is a criminal offence. 

The incident has sparked criticism from the opposition. Labour's Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, described the situation as "utterly extraordinary" and criticised Prime Minister Sunak for his response.

Ashworth stated: "Rishi Sunak has sat on this information for more than a week but has lacked any backbone to take action. Once again, Rishi Sunak has been exposed as utterly weak." 

A Gambling Commission spokesman said: “The Gambling Commission does not typically confirm or deny whether any investigations are under way unless or until they are concluded, or if arrests are made or charges are brought during a criminal investigation.”

This investigation comes amidst broader regulatory changes in the UK gambling industry. The Gambling Commission (GC) and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) recently announced new rules and voluntary checks designed to financially safeguard players from gambling harms. These measures, part of a staged implementation plan running until February 2025, include financial vulnerability checks, frictionless financial risk assessments and stricter age verification processes.

The GC’s new regulations aim to reduce instances of financial harm by conducting light-touch financial vulnerability checks for customers with significant net deposits and piloting financial risk assessments.

The BGC’s voluntary Code on Customer Checks aims to complement these rules by providing guidelines for operator interactions with high-deposit players, requiring vulnerability assessments and implementing intervention measures for at-risk individuals.


Casino News Sponsor
Premium+ Connections
Premium
 
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium
 
Premium Connections
Consultancy
Executive Profiles
Seminole Hard Rock Support Services
Metropolitan Gaming
Holland Casino
Nederlandse Loterij
Relax Gaming
Follow Us

Facing Facts: Q1 2024 analysis from across the globe

Gambling Insider tracks the Q1 results of operators across t...

Taking Stock: A guide to sports betting operator and supplier prices

Gambling Insider tracks sports betting operator and supplier...

Tailor-made: The power of personalisation in the modern gaming industry

With insights from GR8 Tech, Greentube and the Oregon Lotter...

Sportradar and the Taiwan Sports Lottery: More offerings, greater efficiency

Danny Fok, VP of Strategic Projects at Sportradar, speaks al...