Some of the UK’s top charities have secured vital funding after bookies handed over a huge donation following the flagship Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot.
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 will receive a share of £277,000 after Hayley Turner rode Docklands to victory last Thursday.
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 all signed up to the fundraising initiative.
They had pledged all profits from the race, but when the favourite made it a loss maker, bookmakers instead honoured a pledge to make a bumper donation instead.
BGC members have now raised £5.9 million for charity since the BGC was formed in November 2019 through the Britannia Stakes and the virtual Grand National.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “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.
“I am delighted that BGC members have now raised close to £6 million for charities up and down the country.
“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.”
This year’s Royal Ascot was particularly poignant, coming in the same year as the King’s Coronation, while paying 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.
Alastair Warwick, chief executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: “We are hugely grateful for the support of the BGC and its members again this year with the Britannia Stakes initiative. Although not a profitable winner, with Hayley Turner winning the race it was still a hugely positive story for racing and the donation agreed by bookmakers will go a long way to supporting these charitable causes, including our own Ascot Racecourse Supports programme.”