Royal Ascot 2023


Some of the UK’s top charities have secured vital funding after bookies handed over a huge donation following the flagship Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot.

SportsAid, whose Patron is Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, the Holocaust Educational Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, SAS Regimental Association (SASRA), Ascot Racecourse Supports and Together for Looked After Children will receive a share of £277,000 after Hayley Turner rode Docklands to victory last Thursday.

Betting and Gaming Council members Flutter (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet), bet365, Entain (Ladbrokes, Coral), 888 William Hill, Kindred (Unibet), Betway, Rank Group (Grosvenor Sport), Virgin Bet, LivescoreBet, Tote, Fitzdares and Bet with Ascot all signed up to the fundraising initiative.

They had pledged all profits from the race, but when the favourite made it a loss maker, bookmakers instead honoured a pledge to make a bumper donation instead.

BGC members have now raised £5.9 million for charity since the BGC was formed in November 2019 through the Britannia Stakes and the virtual Grand National.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “It’s great news that BGC members have once again made such a huge donation to a range of good causes.

"I am sure that the money we raised will once again make a massive difference to the incredible work done by all the charities involved.

“I am delighted that BGC members have now raised close to £6 million for charities up and down the country.

“I’d like to thank all the BGC members who took part – as well as their customers who enjoyed a flutter on the race – and I’d like to thank Ascot for their continued support.”

This year’s Royal Ascot was particularly poignant, coming in the same year as the King’s Coronation, while paying tribute to the Late Queen Elizabeth II, whose passion for horse racing was known throughout the world, having bred so many successful horses and clocking up 1,800 winners in her time.

Alastair Warwick, chief executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: “We are hugely grateful for the support of the BGC and its members again this year with the Britannia Stakes initiative. Although not a profitable winner, with Hayley Turner winning the race it was still a hugely positive story for racing and the donation agreed by bookmakers will go a long way to supporting these charitable causes, including our own Ascot Racecourse Supports programme.”

“We are very grateful for this substantial donation”, said Tim Lawler MBE, chief executive of SportsAid. “And we are very proud to have been involved with such an exciting initiative as part of the prestigious and quintessentially British Royal Ascot meeting.

“SportsAid’s mission is to encourage, enable and empower the next generation of the nation’s sporting talent and this donation will help us to deliver on that. I’d like to offer a huge thank you to the Betting and Gaming Council and its members from everyone at SportsAid.”

John Allcock, Secretary of the SAS Regimental Association (SASRA), said: “The SAS Regimental Association has been humbled to be included as a recipient of this years’ Britannia Stakes charity race. We would like to congratulate Hayley and Docklands on their victory. Who Dares Wins!

“The generosity of the horse racing fraternity is very much appreciated and we would like to thank the BGC for their support and guidance. The amazing donation will be put to good use looking after our members and their families who have and continue to keep us all safe.”

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “This donation will make a meaningful difference to the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust and we are hugely grateful for this support.

“Thanks to the generosity of members of the BGC, we will continue to work across the UK to ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten. We are grateful to the BGC for their support for this vital cause, which will help to protect the legacy of the past for generations to come.”

Anne Shinkwin, Director of Fundraising, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: “A huge thank you to BGC and their members for their generous donation which will help provide support to everyone that needs us, as well as fund lifesaving cystic fibrosis research.

“Cystic fibrosis is a life limiting genetic condition that causes a wide range of challenging symptoms; symptoms that can impact people’s lives, every single day. We won’t stop until we find an effective treatment and support for everyone with cystic fibrosis.”

Peter Lister, Chair of Trustees, TLC : Together for Looked-after Children, said: “This is such a generous donation and we are extremely grateful to the Betting and Gaming Council for the chance to benefit.

“As a small charity, the additional funds will make a huge difference to our operations this year and many more young people will have the chance to experience extra educational and social support.”

This is the fourth year BGC members have donated profits from this flagship race to charities.

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, the entire regulated betting and gaming industry in the UK supports 110,000 jobs, generates £4.2bn in tax and contributes £7.1bn to the economy.

BGC members also help fund horseracing to the tune of £350m a year through sponsorship, media rights and the betting levy.

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 among adults in the UK is 0.3 per cent.

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