Over 50 parliamentarians participated

BGC Grand National Charity Bet campaign raises over $18K for charities across the UK

Reading time 2:45 min

The Betting and Gaming Council Grand National Charity Bet campaign raised over £15,000 ($18,643) for good causes across the UK. According to the Council, over 50 parliamentarians placed a charity bet on Saturday’s Grand National, with the UK’s biggest betting operators handing over all winnings to the MP’s charity of choice.

The eventual winner was 7/1 favorite ‘I am Maximus’, ridden by Paul Townend, owned by JP McManus, and trained by Willie Mullins. The Grand National win for a Mullins-trained horse comes nine years after Hedge Hunter romped home in 2015.

The parliamentarians who backed the winner were Christian Wakeford MP, Maria Caulfield MP, Justin Tomlinson MP, Greg Smith MP, Peter Aldous MP, Preet Gill MP, and Liam Kerr MSP. Bob Blackman MP had a winner with an each-way bet by backing “Ain’t That A Shame”, which came in sixth.

Some of the winning good causes included Sir Jackie Stewart's Race for Dementia, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare and The Fed - social care charity for the Greater Manchester Jewish Community.

Other MPs who took part included Sir Alok Sharma, Dame Caroline Nokes and Scotland Minister John Lamont. Shadow Gambling Minister Stephanie Peacock MP also took part alongside Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey MP. During visits, MPs heard from staff about the range of safer gambling measures available to customers in bookmakers.

Every nominated charity will receive at least £250 ($311) after BGC members including William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power and Betfred pledged to support charities even if MPs' horses did not win, the Council stated.

These donations, combined with the winners, raised a total of £15,115 ($18,786).
“BGC members – large and small – have raised more than £6 million for good causes since our formation in 2019,” the BGC noted.

Michael Dugher, the BGC’s Chief Executive, said: “600 million people from all over the world tuned in to watch one of the best Grand Nationals ever, including millions in the UK on ITV. An estimated 12 million people in the UK - roughly a third of adults - enjoyed a bet on the National showing once again that for millions of us having a flutter is part of our great British culture.

I want to pay tribute to all the thousands of people who work in betting shops to help support hard-pressed high streets and local economies. I would like to thank all those MPs who took part for supporting so many fantastic good causes and for taking the time to visit constituents working in betting shops.

"We had more MPs than ever before, from right across the political divide, ministers and shadow ministers, supporting the BGC and supporting the Grand National. I would like to thank all of our members for once again supporting the initiative.”

MPs were invited to visit either Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred, or local independent betting shops including JenningsBet and Corbett Bookmakers, in their constituency to place the charity bet, organized by the Betting and Gaming Council.

The Grand National was expected to generate £3 million ($3.7 million) in tax revenues for the Treasury and £2 million (2.4 million) in horse racing levy to support the sport.

The Council stated that the regulated betting and gaming industry already makes "a huge economic contribution throughout the UK," with a recent report by EY revealing BGC members support 110,000 jobs, generate £4.2 billion ($5.2 billion) in tax and contribute £7.1 billion (8.8 billion) to the economy in gross value added.

Meanwhile, 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 £60 million in business rates to local councils, notes the BGC. A study by ESA Retail also found that 89 percent of betting shop customers combine their trips to the bookies with visits to other local businesses.

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