Members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have committed to donating all profits from this weekend’s ‘Virtual Grand National’ to NHS Charities Together.
The initiative has the backing of BGC members including bet365, William Hill, Flutter Entertainment, Sky Bet, GVC, BetFred, Betway, BetVictor, JenningsBet and Inspired Entertainment.
Commenting on the initiative, BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “With the UK understandably and rightly in lockdown, unfortunately the Grand National can’t take place; however the virtual Grand National will be the closest we can get to creating one of those moments when we can all come together in celebration, not just for the world’s greatest sporting events, but for the NHS heroes working on the front line to keep us all safe.
“I am delighted that our members have stepped up in this way to support the national effort to combat COVID-19 by contributing all of their race profits to NHS Charities Together. Millions of us love a flutter on the Grand National. For many, it’s the only time of the year they place a bet. This year, the big winner will be our NHS.”
Stakes will be limited to £10 per horse per customer, or £10 each way per horse. In addition, the Tote will be providing a pool on the race and donating profits to charity.
The pre-recorded race, which will be broadcast on ITV at 17:00 on 4 April, will include the 40 runners who would have been most likely to take part using CGI technology and special algorithms.
The offer comes days after the BGC launched a 10 pledge action plan in response to the COVID-19 crisis which includes a commitment by members to support the Government’s ‘National Effort’ by encouraging staff to volunteer for community service, as well as offering premises where possible for use by those supporting the effort to tackle the Coronavirus.