Bookmakers have made a £277,000 donation to several UK charities following the flagship Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot.
BGC members Flutter (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet), bet365, Entain (Ladbrokes, Coral), 888 William Hill, Kindred (Unibet), Betway, Rank Group (Grosvenor Sport), Virgin Bet, LivescoreBet, Tote, Fitzdares and Bet with Ascot were all part of the initiative.
The operators had pledged all profits from the race, but when the favourite made it a loss maker, it was instead honoured with a pledge to make a ‘bumper donation’.
SportsAid, the Holocaust Educational Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, SAS Regimental Association (SASRA), Ascot Racecourse Supports and Together for Looked After Children will all receive a share, after Hayley Turner rode Docklands to victory last week.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, detailed: “It’s great news that BGC members have once again made such a huge donation to a range of good causes.
“I am sure that the money we raised will once again make a massive difference to the incredible work done by all the charities involved.”
BGC members have now raised £5.9m for charity since the BGC was formed in November 2019 through the Britannia Stakes and the virtual Grand National.
“I’d like to thank all the BGC members who took part – as well as their customers who enjoyed a flutter on the race – and I’d like to thank Ascot for their continued support,” Dugher concluded.
Although not a profitable winner, the race was still regarded as a ‘hugely positive story for racing’.
Alastair Warwick, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, added: “The donation agreed by bookmakers will go a long way to supporting these charitable causes, including our own Ascot Racecourse Supports programme.”
This is the fourth year that BGC members have donated profits from this flagship race to charities.
In response to the news, Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew wrote for the Racing Post praising the BGC’s Britannia Stakes charity race as well as tackling issues concerning its readers.
He explained: “I welcome the financial benefits this race provides to some of our most important charities.
“Since we published our gambling white paper in April, I’ve heard concerns across the racing industry, often covered by the Racing Post, about the impact our new regulations may have on punters and the sport’s revenues.
“The government and the Gambling Commission will launch formal consultations over the coming weeks and months looking at the plans in more depth ahead of our main measures – including the gambling operator levy and online slot stake limits – coming into force over the next year.”