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Yet more sleaze: Peter Coates pays Labour a thank you bung.

Large envelops filled with cash time again.
A gambling tycoon has been accused of paying a £100,000 'thank you' to Labour after his firm benefited from the controversial decision to relax the betting laws.

Peter Coates made the donation after online casinos, bookmakers and betting websites were allowed to advertise on TV.

In total, the entrepreneur - who is a director of internet betting firm Bet365 - has handed over £400,000 in five years.

Mr Coates, who owns Premiership football club Stoke City, gave most of the money as ministers pushed ahead with sweeping proposals to liberalise the gaming industry.

Experts who said the advertising explosion would lead to a surge in gambling addiction, and suck vulnerable children into the world of online betting, were ignored.

Miner's son Mr Coates, whose Bet365 business is worth £275million - £100million more than last year - has always vehemently insisted he is a lifelong Labour supporter and was not seeking to influence ministers.

But his latest donation is certain to renew scrutiny of Labour's links with the gambling industry.
Mr Coates's donation was made public in the quarterly accounts of the Electoral Commission, which monitors donations to political parties.

Hillside (New Media), the company behind Bet365, made a £100,000 donation to Labour in June.

It was handed over less than two years after the Gambling Bill came into force, giving online casinos and bookmakers free rein to promote themselves on TV.

Law gets changed to help a large Labour donor and we are expected to believe that there is no pay off here?

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