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OVER 40 MPS BACK THE BETTING AND GAMING COUNCIL’S GRAND NATIONAL CHARITY BET CAMPAIGN

Betting And Gaming Council

4 min read Partner content

More than 40 MPs from both sides of the House are visiting local betting shops to place a BGC Charity Bet on the Grand National.

Each MP was handed £50 to back a horse in the world’s most famous steeplechase, with all the winnings going to a charity of their choice.

And even if their horse doesn’t come in, BGC members will make a £250 donation to the MP’s nominated charity, ensuring no one misses out.

Last year’s Grand National charity bet drive raised just under £11,000 for a huge range of charities.

MPs were invited to visit either a Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred or local independent betting shop in their constituency to place the charity bet, organised by the Betting and Gaming Council, the standards body for the regulated industry.

A number of parliamentarians including Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison, Shadow DCMS Minister Alex Davies-Jones, Minister for Enterprise Kevin Hollinrake and COP26 President Alok Sharma are all placing bets.

They joined by Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey, former Labour Cabinet Minister John Spellar, former DCMS Minister Caroline Dinenage and Shadow Apprenticeships Minister Toby Perkins, among others.

The annual race at Aintree, Liverpool, is the most popular horserace in the world, and this year takes place on Saturday 15th April. It is watched by around 600 million people across 140 countries, with an estimated 13 million adults in the UK placing a bet on it.

According to industry research conducted by the Betting and Gaming Council, approximately £250m will be staked on the main event. The Grand National is expected to generate £3m in tax revenues for the Treasury and £2m in horse racing levy to support the sport.

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “Millions of people, from all different backgrounds, will be coming together to watch the Grand National and place a bet on the world’s most famous horserace.

“Betting shops support tens of thousands of jobs, bring vital revenue to the UK’s hard-pressed high streets and support the national and local economies through tax and business rates. They also provide community to millions of betting and gaming fans.

“I also want to say a huge thanks to the MPs who have made the time and effort to meet with their local constituents working in high street shops, for backing so many good causes and local charities, and for promoting the Grand National which remains one of Britain’s biggest and best cultural and sporting events seen around the world.”

During visits, MPs heard from staff about the range of safer gambling measures available to customers in bookmakers.

Independent analysis carried out by Serve Legal found UK betting shops have better age verification checks than convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol forecourts.

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 £60m in business rates to local councils. 

A study by ESA Retail found 89 per cent of betting shop customers combine their trip to the bookies with visits to other local businesses.

According to the Gambling Commission, 22.5m adults in the UK enjoy a bet every month, whether it’s buying a lottery ticket, having a game of bingo, visiting a casino, playing online or having a wager on football, horseracing and other sports.

We are encouraged by the latest figures from the independent regulator, the Gambling Commission, which show the rates of problem gambling among UK adults is 0.2 per cent – down from 0.3 per cent the year previous.

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 £4.2bn in tax and contribute £7.1bn to the economy in gross value added.

They also help fund horseracing to the tune of £350m through sponsorship, media rights and the betting levy, provide £40m for the English Football League and its clubs and millions more for rugby league, darts and snooker.

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