BGC: British Bookmakers to Donate Britannia Stakes Profits to Charities

A coalition of British bookmakers will donate all profits from this year’s Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot to several prominent UK charities. This marks the fifth consecutive year that proceeds from the famous handicap race on June 20th will benefit various good causes. The recipients for this year include Prostate Cancer UK, Ascot Racecourse Supports, Missing People, Heros, GoRacingGreen, and the Churchill Lines Foundation.

Members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) participating in this initiative include Flutter (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet), Entain (Ladbrokes, Coral), Evoke (888, William Hill), Kindred (Unibet), Betway, Rank Group (Grosvenor Sport), Virgin Bet, LivescoreBet, Fitzdares, Star Sports, QuinnBet, Tote, and Bet with Ascot. These operators will donate all profits from win and each-way bets, after deducting levy and duties, on the prestigious big-field heritage handicap.

In the event that bookmakers do not make a profit on the race, they have collectively agreed to donate £200,000 to be distributed among the selected charities. Since its inception, the Britannia Stakes initiative has raised nearly £3 million for various charities through contributions from BGC members.

Since 2019, BGC members have contributed over £6 million to various health, sport, and veterans’ charities, including Prostate Cancer UK, Sue Ryder, NHS Charities Together, the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, ABF the Soldier’s Charity, and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

This initiative not only supports worthy causes but also enhances the enjoyment of the race for punters, knowing that their bets contribute to charitable efforts. Betting shops in the UK support 42,000 jobs, contribute £800 million annually in taxes to the Treasury, and another £60 million in business rates to local councils. The regulated betting and gaming industry as a whole supports 110,000 jobs, generates £4.2 billion in taxes, and contributes £7.1 billion to the economy. Additionally, BGC members fund horseracing with £350 million annually through sponsorship, media rights, and betting levies.

Each month, approximately 22.5 million adults in Britain place bets, with the most recent NHS Health Survey for England estimating that 0.4% of the adult population are problem gamblers.

Betting and Gaming Council CEO and Acting Chair Michael Dugher, said: “I am absolutely delighted that BGC members are once more raising vital funds at the Royal Meeting for some of the country’s top charities.

“To date, the BGC’s Britannia Stakes Charity Bet campaign has raised nearly £3 million for a host of good causes, and on behalf of the BGC and our members, we are proud to once more celebrate this iconic race, and raise vital funds along the way.

“Tens of millions of people up and down the country enjoy a flutter each month and I’m delighted that some of the country’s biggest bookmakers will once again donate their profits from one of Royal Ascot’s top races, the Britannia Stakes. I am once again indebted to everyone at Royal Ascot for their continued support.”

Laura Kerby Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “I would like to thank everyone at the Betting and Gaming Council and their betting operator members for their wonderful gesture in once again helping donate vital funds to Prostate Cancer UK.

“As a charity, we want all racing fans to be aware of their risk of prostate cancer and major events like the Britannia Stakes help us increase awareness within the racing community. 1 in 8 men will be affected by prostate cancer, it’s the most common cancer in men, and an early diagnosis can save your life.

“Money raised by this brilliant incentive will fund ground-breaking research towards a screening programme, so we can catch prostate cancer early and save lives.”

Alastair Warwick, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: “We are hugely grateful once more to the members of the Betting and Gaming Council involved in this generous initiative which has raised so much money for worthwhile causes since 2020.

“We are thrilled that Ascot Racecourse Supports will be a beneficiary again and look forward to being able to further support our community programme in 2024 and beyond.”

Grace Muir, Founder and CEO of HEROS, said: “HEROS is both honoured and extremely grateful to have been chosen by the Betting and Gaming Council as one of the charities chosen to benefit from The Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot, a very generous initiative from the bookmakers. A donation of this kind is hugely important and significant to HEROS, it allows us to continue to build and grow the innovative and essential work we do in both retraining and rehoming of former racehorses and development of the HEROS Education programme offering unique and bespoke learning to students from 11yo upwards.

“Since 2006, HEROS has rehomed and retrained 100’s of former racehorses, finding them new and happy lives after their racing days. HEROS Education, started in 2015, with grant funding from The Racing Foundation and is an alternative to school provision for SEN students, who are not thriving in a mainstream school environment. We currently welcome up to 60 students per week and are currently working hard on expanding our facilities to further meet the demand of the many SEN students in our area.”

Jo Youle OBE, Chief Executive of Missing People, said: “Our thanks to the Betting and Gaming Council, their members – and everyone safely enjoying a flutter – for this incredible support via Britania Stakes.

“Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. This support will go such a long way to helping people in crisis, supporting their loved ones and to help find missing people. The charity’s Helpline is open every day for the 170,000 people reported missing each year. That is only possible thanks to support like this.”

GoRacingGreen founder Debbie Matthews, said: “I am so grateful for the backing of BGC members and their support for stable visits across the UK and Ireland to those who struggle with their mental health.

“This additional funding will go an extremely long way in working with racecourses to get as many people to the racecourse as possible, which not only has a positive effect on their wellbeing but also gets more people going racing.”

Roger Lewis Chairman of the Churchill Lines Foundation (CLF) said, “The Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) is a permanently operational special forces tri-service unit of the British Armed Forces, formed in 2006, to provide high-end support to UK SF and allied units around the world. The members of SFSG give extraordinary service to keep us all safe 24/7. The inevitable demands on both those who serve as well as their families are considerable.

“The CLF is the discreet charitable arm of SFSG and exists solely to provide immediate and significant welfare support to unit members and their families. CLF is both grateful and humbled to be a part-recipient of the proceeds of this year’s Britannia Stakes race. Thank you all so much.”

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