Members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have agreed to donate all of their profits from the Britannia Stakes horse race at the Royal Ascot to UK charities.
According to the BGC, member operators such as Flutter, the owner of Paddy Power and Betfair, Bet365, Entain, the owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, Wiliam Hill, Kindred, BetVictor, Betway, Rank Group, Fitzdares, and the Tote have all signed up to the fundraising initiative.
Under the initiative, the above operators will donate all of their profits from win and each-way bets, after levy and duties have been deducted. If the operators do not make a profit on the race, they will donate to UK charities such as Care Radio, Marie Curie, and Prostate Cancer UK.
The operators will also donate to Armed Forces charities the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) – The Army’s National Charity – and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The launch of this year’s initiative comes after the success of last year’s Britannia Stakes fundraising, where £250,000 was raised for a range of good causes. The BGC hopes this year’s initiative will encourage punters to enjoy the race even if they lose as charities are “guaranteed to win”.
Michael Dugher, the Chief Executive of the BGC, said in a statement: “I am absolutely delighted that the BGC’s largest members are once again leading this fantastic initiative, which will raise vital funds for some of the country’s top charities.
“Racing is a sport that has the power to bring people together and Royal Ascot is one of the great highlights of the calendar. Millions of people enjoy a flutter and I’m proud that betting companies will donate their profits from one of Royal Ascot’s top races to go towards some brilliant causes that will help so many people from across the country.”
What The Charities Say
Alastair Warwick, the Managing Director at Ascot Racecourse, said: “We are thrilled that the betting industry will once again be donating profits from the Britannia Stakes to these very worthy charities.
“Run on Gold Cup day, the Britannia Stakes is always one of the biggest betting heats of the week and extremely popular with punters, so hopefully lots of money will be raised at a time when it is much needed in light of the impact COVID-19 has had on charity fundraising efforts.”
Brigadier Peter Walker OBE, Chairman of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity for Berkshire, said: “The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund would like to thank the members of the Betting and Gaming Council for very kindly agreeing to make a donation to the three Armed Forces charities during Royal Ascot.
“The charities, who will be represented by Service men and women at Royal Ascot throughout the race meeting, work tirelessly to assist military personnel, past and present, and their families in time of need with a wide range of practical, emotional and financial support. They would not, however, be able to provide this vital level of care without assistance and thus this very kind offer from the betting operators is very much appreciated.”
Matthew Reed, the Chief Executive at Marie Curie, added: “This is an incredible gesture and we are grateful to be benefitting from the generosity of everyone involved.
“Across the past year, Marie Curie has been needed more than ever, providing more care to people in their homes during the pandemic and all while our fundraising activities were heavily restricted. Money raised will help ensure Marie Curie Nurses can continue to be there to provide end of life care for those who need it most.”
Nicola Tallett, the Director of Fundraising & Supporter Engagement for Prostate Cancer UK, said in a statement: “I would once again like to thank everyone at the Betting and Gaming Council and their members for their incredibly kind gesture in helping donate vital funds to Prostate Cancer UK for a second successive year.
“Around 400,000 men are living with prostate cancer; it’s the most common cancer in men, and thanks to this wonderful support we are able to continue our lifesaving research into treatments and better tests to stop the disease being a killer, while also supporting men and their loved ones.”
Tallett added: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made living with a diagnosis harder, but hard times show what people stand for. When the future is uncertain and the choices are tough, we stand for men with prostate cancer. We thank everyone involved for their continued support.”
Hedley Finn, the chairman of Care Radio, which is the UK’s first station dedicated to the carers, said: “The Britannia Stakes is the flagship race at Royal Ascot and a fitting opportunity to pay tribute to the heroes of our care sector.
“We are delighted that members of the Betting and Gaming Council have once again agreed to donate their profits from this year’s race to a selection of good causes, including Care Radio. This is a wonderful gesture and will help Care Radio, the country’s first radio station dedicated to those who care and those they care for, reach out to and support many more carers and their families.”
The news comes after the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) announced Safer Gambling Week 2021, which will run between November 1st and 7th, 2021. The campaign will see the BGC, the Bingo Association, and bacta (The British Amusement Catering Trade Association) partner to drive up standards within the gambling industry and promote safer gaming.
According to the BGC, this year’s campaign will see the gambling industry come together to encourage staff, customers, and the general public to raise awareness of and discuss safer gambling.