Virtual Grand National raises £2.6m for NHS Charities

A group of British gambling operators will donate their profits from the 2020 virtual Grand National to the NHS.

Several UK gambling operators will donate a combined £2.6m in profits from the 2020 virtual Grand National event to the National Health Service (NHS).

£2.6m to be donated to the NHS

Last week, several of the country’s largest gambling companies including Bet365, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, William Hill, Betway, Betfred and Sky Bet and the UK Tote Group agreed to donate all profits from the 2020 virtual Grand National to NHS charities. The technology provider Inspired Entertainment will also donate profits from the event.

The funds raised will be sent to NHS Charities Together, an umbrella organization that represents over 140 charities that are approved by the NHS. These charities collectively contribute £1m a day to support the health service.

Betting and Gaming Council Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “We are overwhelmed with the public support for the virtual Grand National and the support shown for NHS Charities Together. When the nation was in much need of some light relief, millions joined in the fun in honour of one of Britain’s greatest sporting events and helped raise a fantastic amount for our brave heroes in the NHS.

“The country is going through what is little short of a nightmare at the moment, so it was heartwarming to see pictures on social media of so many people enjoying themselves watching the excellent ITV Racing and Carm Productions programme which had such impressive viewing figures.”

The virtual race was watched by 4.8m viewers at its peak which represents 30% of the overall television audience for the Grand National.

“I am proud that so many BGC members, up and down the country, are supporting in so many different ways the national effort to combat COVID-19, including here by contributing all of their race profits to NHS Charities Together,” added Dugher.

Jockey Club to donate 10,000 tickets

Last week, the Jockey Club, the body that governs horse racing in the UK, announced it will be donating 10,000 tickets to the NHS and social care sector for the first day of the 2021 Grand National Festival.

This announcement was also praised by Dugher who said: “It’s also fantastic that the Jockey Club will be donating 10,000 tickets to the NHS and social care sector in Merseyside for the first day of the 2021 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree.”

These tickets will be made available to workers in the Merseyside area as the Grand National takes place at the local Aintree Racecourse.

The tickets will only be valid for the opening day of the event on 8 April 2021. The day will also be renamed as Liverpool’s NHS Day to honour the work done by local staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

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