Britain’s biggest bookmakers will donate all profits from tomorrow’s (THURS) Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot to a host of top UK charities.
To mark the King’s coronation, all profits from the world-famous feature handicap will be split between SportsAid, whose Patron is Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, the Holocaust Educational Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, SAS Regimental Association (SASRA), Ascot Racecourse Supports and Together for Looked After Children.
Last year’s race raised a whopping £1.2 million from BGC members for a host of worthy causes. And if bookmakers fail to make a profit on the race, they have agreed to make a combined donation of £250,000 to be split among the nominated charities.
Betting and Gaming Council 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 have all signed up to the fundraising initiative.
They will hand over all profits made from win and each-way bets, after levy and duties are deducted, on the iconic big-field heritage handicap.
Since its creation in 2019, BGC members have raised over £5.5 million for a range of good causes 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.
The BGC hopes the initiative will help punters enjoy a race where, even if they lose, a range of good cause are guaranteed to win.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, said: “Royal Ascot remains one of Britain’s most historic and world-renowned sporting spectacles of the year, and I am delighted once more it is raising vital funds for a host of outstanding charities.
“The BGC’s largest members are proud to honour the King’s Coronation by once again donating all profits from the Britannia Stakes to worthy causes.
“It is also a fitting tribute to the Late Queen Elizabeth II, whose passion for horse racing was known throughout the world, having bred so many successful horses and clocking up 1,800 winners in her time.
“A huge thanks goes to BGC members and the team at Ascot for making this possible.
“Millions of people enjoy a bet during Royal Ascot and however the punters fare in the Britannia Stakes, some of the UK’s top charities are guaranteed to be big winners.”
Alastair Warwick, chief executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: “It is fantastic news that the leading bookmakers will once again be donating all profits from the Britannia Stakes to charity. The money raised since 2020 has been extremely well received, including by our own Ascot Racecourse Supports programme and the contributions have enabled us to support some extremely worthy causes and carry out important work in the community.”
This is the fourth year BGC members have donated profits from this flagship race to charities.
Tim Lawler MBE, Chief Executive of SportsAid, said: “This is really exciting news for us. It’s a great privilege to be alongside these other emotive and important charities to benefit from such a prestigious and high-profile British sporting occasion. A huge thank you to the Betting and Gaming Council members from everyone at SportsAid. What a wonderful surprise and a very welcome boost.”
Karen Pollock, Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust, added: “The Holocaust Educational Trust works in schools across the UK to ensure that the horrors of the past are never forgotten. As Holocaust survivors dwindle in number and as the Holocaust fades from living memory to history, our work is more urgent than ever. This support will help us to continue our vital mission and we are enormously grateful.”
Anne Shinkwin, Director of Fundraising, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: “We would like to thank BGC for this generous donation to fund our work at Cystic Fibrosis Trust supporting people affected by cystic fibrosis, a life-long genetic condition with a median age of death of just 38 years old. This support will ensure we can continue to be there for anyone who needs us, campaign for better care and keep funding vital research so everyone can live a life unlimited by cystic fibrosis.”
John Allcock, Secretary of the SAS Regimental Association (SASRA), said: “Members of the SAS give extraordinary service to keep us safe. This creates extraordinary demands on both those who serve as well as their families. This requires extraordinary support for which there is a rising demand. The Association exists to provide this support.
“The SAS Regimental Association is humbled and grateful to be a part-recipient of the proceeds of this years Britannia Stakes Race.”
Peter Lister, Chair of Trustees, TLC : Together for Looked-after Children, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Betting and Gaming Council for the opportunity to be a beneficiary of the Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot this year.
“TLC was launched 12 years ago to improve the lives of Looked After Children in Calderdale and through the funds raised at this event we will be able to help more young people to have inspiring educational experiences and reach their potential.”
Betting shops support 42,000 jobs on the UK’s hard-pressed high streets, contribute £800 million a year in tax to the Treasury and another £60m in business rates to local councils.
Meanwhile, the entire regulated betting and gaming industry in the UK supports 110,000 jobs, generates £4.2bn in tax and contributes £7.1bn to the economy.
BGC members also help fund horseracing to the tune of £350m a year through sponsorship, media rights and the betting levy.
Around 22.5m adults in the UK bet each month and we are encouraged by the latest figures from the Gambling Commission which show the rate of problem gambling among adults in the UK is 0.3 per cent.