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GOOD CAUSES UP AND DOWN THE COUNTRY THE BIG WINNERS, THANKS TO THE BGC GRAND NATIONAL CHARITY BET CAMPAIGN

Betting And Gaming Council

3 min read Partner content

Charities up and down the country have won big thanks to the Grand National Charity Bet campaign, which has raised thousands for good causes.

Over 40 MPs placed a charity bet on Saturday’s Grand National, with the UK’s biggest betting operators vowing to hand over all winnings to the MP’s charity of choice.

The eventual winner was 8/1 favourite Corach Rambler, ridden by Derek Fox for Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell, six years after they teamed up to win with One For Arthur.

The parliamentarians who backed the winner were Labour Shadow DCMS Minister Alex Davies-Jones MP, Pete Wishart MP from the SNP and Caroline Nokes MP, Philip Davies MP, and Miles Briggs MSP from the Conservatives.

While Mark Pawsey MP, Dr James Davies MP, Mark Tami MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Nigel Evans MP and Alex Stafford MP had a winner with an each way bet.

Good causes included Guide Dogs for the Blind, Age UK and various regional foodbanks.

Every nominated charity will receive at least £250 after BGC members William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power and Betfred pledged to support charities even if MPs horses didn’t win.

These donations, combined with the winners, raised a total of over £13,500.

A number of MPs including Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison MP, Minister for Enterprise Kevin Hollinrake MP, former Education Secretary Sir Gavin Williamson MP and COP26 President Alok Sharma MP all placed bets in their constituencies.

They were joined by Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey MP, Opposition Chief Whip Sir Alan Campbell MP, Shadow DCMS Minister Steph Peacock MP, former Labour Cabinet Minister John Spellar MP and Shadow Apprenticeships Minister Toby Perkins MP, among others.

Over 40 Parliamentarians placed a charity bet which is a record number for the initiative.

Michael Dugher, the BGC’s chief executive, said: “600 million people from all over the world turned into to watch the Grand National - including 7.5 million in the UK on ITV - with an estimated 13 million people in the U.K. enjoying a bet on the National.

“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, it was great to see MPs from across the political divide - more MPs than ever before - visiting bookies across the country supporting more good causes than ever before.”

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.

This year’s Grand National was watched on TV by 7.5 million people in the UK, with 13 million people placing bets and an estimated 600 million more watching worldwide.

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.

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

Around 22.5m adults in the UK bet each month and we are encouraged by the latest figures from the Gambling Commission which show the rate of problem gambling is 0.2 per cent – down from 0.3 per cent the year previous.

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Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

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