BGC MEMBERS AGREE TO DONATE RACE PROFITS TO CHARITY
Charities the odds on favourite as betting operators agree to donate all profits from flagship Royal Ascot Race
Covid-19 and cancer charities are in the running for a major cash boost after the UK’s biggest betting operators agreed to donate all of their profits from the Britannia Stakes flagship race at Royal Ascot.
Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) members, including Paddy Power Betfair, bet365, Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, Sky Bet, Betway, BetVictor, Kindred Group, Grosvenor Sport, Virgin Bet, FitzDares Genting Bet and JenningsBet will hand over all profit made from win and each-way bets, after levy and duties are deducted, on the big-field heritage handicap, the Britannia Stakes, which takes place at 4.10pm on Ascot Gold Cup Day, Thursday 18th June, which is the biggest betting day of Royal Ascot week.
The money raised by betting operators will be given to Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund.
The move follows the huge success of the virtual Grand National in April that raised nearly £3m for NHS Charities Together after BGC members agreed to donate all of the profits they made from the race.
While the BGC can’t predict how much will be raised from the Britannia Stakes, they are hopeful that punters will once again enjoy a race where they know that even if they lose the charities will win.
During the covid pandemic operators have played their part in supporting the National Effort, providing catering services for care staff and the vulnerable, encouraging colleagues to volunteer for community service, as well as offering premises where possible for use by those involved in tackling the outbreak.
The initiative from Betting and Gaming Council members coincides with Ascot’s launch of its #StyledWithThanks charity appeal which has already benefited from a £100,000 donation from the racecourse.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “It’s great to see the return of horseracing, if only behind closed doors. It has brought some light relief from the pressures of social distancing and much needed live entertainment.
“Royal Ascot is the premier highlight of the racing calendar, and it’s fitting that the profits betting companies make from one of its greatest races will go towards some fantastic causes.
“The betting and gaming industry has stepped up to the plate to help the national effort, and I’m delighted that again we can show our support for those on the front line with this fantastic initiative.”
Nineteen-times Champion jump jockey and William Hill brand ambassador Sir A.P McCoy said: “I am looking forward to Royal Ascot, even though it will be very different this year.”
“Betting operators have done a lot to help the national effort in tackling the coronavirus, and this is another good initiative that will hopefully result in big donations to some wonderful charities. It has my full support.”
Leading flat jockey and Champion Jockey in 2016, Jim Crowley, said: “Royal Ascot is the biggest week of the year for Flat racing, and it’s fantastic that Britain’s bookies have come together to turn the Britannia Stakes into a major charity fundraiser for some really worthy causes. It was great what the betting operators did on the Virtual Grand National, and I’m delighted that it’s being repeated on the Flat, this time on a real race and such a historic and competitive one too as The Britannia Stakes.”
Betfair brand ambassador and three time champion jockey Ryan Moore commented: ‘’Royal Ascot is our summer highlight and now, more than ever, due to the present circumstances, will be the focus for existing horse racing fans and new viewers to the sport, so this is a nice way from Betfair and other BGC members to hopefully help generate additional funds for the frontline charities which are working at the coal face of this pandemic.
“This year there are 36 races over five days and the Britannia is always one of the most competitive handicaps of the season to win. I’ve been lucky enough to land it twice in the last eight years and hopefully this year I can make it three and help swell the charity contribution in the process’.”
Former England football international and BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen said: “Royal Ascot stands alone in terms of prestige in the Flat racing calendar. It’s fantastic to see so many bookmakers unite behind a common goal and turning the Britannia Stakes into a charity race will make it even more special as it will be raising funds to support many worthy causes. I for one expect it to be one of the week’s many highlights.”
Ed Chamberlin, who will be anchoring ITV Racing’s Royal Ascot coverage said: “Just like the Virtual Grand National, this is another example of the power of the racing family and how the sport can be a force for good. I hope lots of money is raised for such good causes.”
Alastair Warwick, chief operating officer at Ascot Racecourse, said: “This is a tremendous gesture from so many of the powerhouses of the betting world. After the success of the Virtual Grand National initiative, we are thrilled that the betting industry has chosen to follow up at Royal Ascot and to complement our own fundraising initiatives for those on the front line of the Covid-19 crisis.”
Tracey Pritchard, Director of Fundraising & Supporter Engagement for Prostate Cancer UK said: “I would like to thank everyone at the Betting and Gaming Council and their betting operator members for their incredibly kind gesture in helping donate vital funds to Prostate Cancer UK. Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the UK, with around 400,000 men and their families are living with the disease. The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t just disrupted healthcare – it’s disrupted vital research too. While our research came to a standstill, prostate cancer didn’t. Money raised by this fantastic initiative will go towards lifesaving research into treatments and better tests to stop the disease being a killer, and men and their families accessing our support service during these challenging times.”
About Prostate Cancer UK
- Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition – to stop prostate cancer damaging the lives of men and their families
- Investing into finding better treatments and tests that could save thousands of lives
- Working with the NHS to make sure men get access to breakthrough tests and treatments
- Spreading the word about who is at risk of prostate cancer, especially to those at higher risk
- Supporting people dealing with prostate cancer and providing health information
- Visit prostatecanceruk.org now to help beat this disease.
About prostate cancer
- More than 11,500 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year – that’s one man every 45 minutes.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with around 400,000 living with and after the disease, and it’s now the most commonly diagnosed of all cancers in the UK.
- Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50 and the risk increases with age. But the risk is higher for black men or men with a family history of prostate cancer, so they may wish to speak to their GP from age 45.
- One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. This raises to one in four for black men.
- Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or online via the Live Chat instant messaging service: prostatecanceruk.org. The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm on Wednesdays.
About Marie Curie
Marie Curie provides care and support for people who are dying or living with a terminal illness, as well as their loved ones. They are on the frontline of the crisis supporting people across the UK both with and without coronavirus to be cared for away from hospital in their own home, or in their nine hospices.
They need to raise £2.5 million a week and fundraising has been seriously impacted at a time when their services, including a 7 day support line (0800 090 230), are needed more than ever www.mariecurie.org.uk
About The Care Workers’ Charity
The Care Workers’ Charity was founded in 2009 with the objective of supporting current and former care workers with one-off crisis grants. They know this changes lives – every month the people they help tell them how our grant has enabled them to face the future with renewed hope. Their efforts were recognised at the 2018 Charity Times Awards – ‘Change Project of the Year’ nomination winner and at the Third Sector Awards, where they were shortlisted in the ‘Charity Chief Executive’ category.
There are almost 2 million care workers in the UK, contributing to one of the largest workforces, and caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Care workers look after our society’s most vulnerable individuals, often for little reward. They spend their careers assisting others, but when circumstances change, sometimes it is the carers who need some help. The Care Workers Charity provide crisis grants to people have worked in a paid role in the UK’s care sector and are involved in or support the provision of care. This includes people who have been involved in residential social care, home care, supported living care or day care.
Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund
Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund, based in home county of Ascot Race Course, helps local charities, community and voluntary groups working to help people affected by the crisis.