grand national horse racing

BGC raises £15,000 for charities over Grand National weekend 

Betting and Gaming Concil’s (BGC) Grand National Charity Bet campaign has managed to raise more than £15,000 for good causes.

Launched in time for the Grand National, the campaign saw over 50 parliamentarians placing a charity bet on last weekend’s race. The funds were then distributed to their charities of choice by some of the UK’s biggest betting operators. 

Christian Wakeford MP, Maria Caulfield MP, Justin Tomlinson MP, Greg Smith MP, Peter Aldous MP, Preet Gill MP and Liam Kerr MSP all turned out to have picked the 7/1 favourite horse I am Maximus, which was ridden to victory by jockey Paul Townend

All MPs were invited to pay a visit to either a Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred or local independent betting shop in their constituency to place their charity bets.

Some of the other MPs who participated in the charity bet included Sir Alok Sharma, Dame Caroline Nokes and Scotland Minister John Lamont

They were accompanied by Shadow Gambling Minister Stephanie Peacock MP and Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey MP.

Part of the selected charities included Sir Jackie Stewart’s Race for Dementia, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare and The Fed – a social care charity for the Greater Manchester Jewish Community.

At least £250 will also be attributed to each nominated charity, with BGC members William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power and Betfred all pledging support regardless of how the horses performed. 

BGC, which is the standards body for the regulated industry, also reminded that since the body’s formation in 2019, over £6m has been raised for good causes. 

Michael Dugher, BGC Chief Executive, said: “600 million people from all over the world tuned in to watch one of the best Grand Nationals ever, including millions in the UK on ITV. 

“An estimated 12 million people in the UK – roughly a third of adults – enjoyed a bet on the National showing once again that for millions of us having a flutter is part of our great British culture.

“I want to pay tribute to all the thousands of people who work in betting shops to help support hard-pressed high streets and local economies. I would like to thank all those MPs who took part for supporting so many fantastic good causes and for taking the time to visit constituents working in betting shops. 

“We had more MPs than ever before, from right across the political divide, ministers and shadow ministers, supporting the BGC and supporting the Grand National. I would like to thank all of our members for once again supporting the initiative”.

Latest estimates show that betting shops across the UK currently employ 42,000 people and contribute £800m in tax to the Treasury each year, thus continuing to be a key component of the economy.

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