The BGC’s Royal Ascot initiative raises £250,000 for charity

Betting and Gaming Council members raised £275,00 for charity last week.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) revealed that several of its members managed to raise £250,000 for charity through an initiative revolving around the Royal Ascot horse racing event.

The initiative

Several of the BGC’s members, which include some of the biggest sports betting operators in the UK, agreed to donate all profits on win and each-way bets from the Britannia Stakes, after levy and duties were deducted, to charitable organizations.

BGC members including Bet365, Betway, BetVictor, Kindred Group, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet and William Hill were among the operators that agreed to donate their profits.

Khaloosy, the second favourite to win the event, won the race, while the favourite, Finest Sound, came in second place. As a result of this, the bookies made a loss on the heritage handicap race.

Despite making a loss, the bookies agreed to make a joint donation of £250,000 to several organisations. The donation was split between Marie Cure, Prostate Cancer UK, The Care Workers Charity, and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund.

Michael Dugher, the BGC’s chief executive, said: “It was a great day for punters, though not such a good one for the bookies.

“However, it’s brilliant to see that despite bookmakers not making a profit in the race, they will still make a large donation of a quarter of a million pounds to four fantastic charities, who undoubtedly deserve every penny.”

Alastair Warwick, chief operating officer at Ascot Racecourse, said: “This initiative was a tremendous gesture by the betting industry and reflects the ongoing contribution being made throughout the pandemic. The beneficiary charities will be most appreciative of this invaluable funding.”

Another win for charities

This marks another major win for UK charities during the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, several BGC members donated a combined £2.6m in profits from the 2020 virtual Grand National to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The Grand National was originally cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and replaced with the virtual Grand National.

April also saw The Denise Coates Foundation, the charity set up by Denise Coates, the co-chief executive of Bet365, awarded a £10m grant to a regional NHS charity to support staff and patients amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The same month, The Jockey Club, the UK horseracing industry’s governing body, announced plans to donate 10,000 tickets to the NHS and social care sector for the first day of the 2021 Grand National event.

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