Gambling Commission 'investigating others linked to election betting scandal'

A number of unnamed people are now being looked into following a series of General Election date betting allegations, ITV News' Lewis Warner reports

The Gambling Commission is investigating other individuals linked to the Conservative Party or government who bet on the July election, I understand, in a widening scandal that is undermining Rishi Sunak’s general election campaign.

After the Tory candidate and ex-PPS to Sunak, Craig Williams, placed a £100 bet on a July election, the booking giant Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Corals, notified the Commission.

Entain made the disclosure to the Commission because Williams as an MP, before parliament was dissolved, was classified as a 'Politically Exposed Person' in relevant law.

The Commission then wrote to all the gambling companies requesting details of any individual who had bet £20 or more on that July election, within days of the PM calling it on 22 May.

This initial trawl yielded what industry sources say were “many names” and since then the Commission has been combing through the internet and social media to establish who they are and whether they have links to the Conservative Party or government.

“It is a tried and trusted investigatory process” explained a source.

“It is pretty straightforward to work out who might have had access to privileged information about the timing of the election and to identify their mates”.

Nick Mason (R) has reportedly taken a leave of absence after becoming the latest Tory to be investigated by the Gambling Commission Credit: PA

According to a source, the Commission has identified persons of interest in addition to the Tory officials Tony Lee and Nick Mason, who have taken leave of absence from their jobs with the party, and the candidates Craig Williams and Laura Saunders, who continue to campaign as official Tory hopefuls.

A police officer who was part of Sunak’s protection team has been suspended and arrested following the Commission’s investigation.

“The PM seemingly hopes the scandal will just die down” said a source.

“That looks naive at best”.

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