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NHS triumphs at virtual Grand National – £2.9 million raised

Bookmakers set to donate over £2.9million in profit to NHS Charities Together

Bookmakers set to donate over £2.9million in profit to NHS Charities Together

The UK’s betting operators are delighted with the level of public engagement in the ‘virtual’ Grand National which saw Potters Corner, an 18/1 shot, claim victory in the race and securing a triumphant win for NHS Charities Together.

Almost a third of all TV viewers tuned in to watch Potters Corner win the Virtual Grand National on ITV. The show peaked with 4.8million viewers, 30 per cent of the overall TV audience.

Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the new standards body for betting and gaming, were delighted to announce today that over £2.9 million in profits (after winnings and duties are paid) has been raised for NHS Charities Together, the umbrella organisation which represents over 140 NHS charities. BGC hope that many of the lucky punters who won will also consider donating some of their winnings to charity.

BGC were also delighted to announce that profits from bets placed in Ireland will be donated to Irish charities including the Irish Red Cross.

The fundraising initiative was backed by Betting and Gaming Council members including bet365, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet, William Hill, Inspired Entertainment, BetFred, Betway, BetVictor, JenningsBet, 32 Red, Corbett Bookmakers, Unibet and Genting Bet among others.

BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “We are overwhelmed with the public support for the virtual Grand National and the support shown for NHS Charities Together. When the nation was in much need of some light relief, millions joined in the fun in honour of one of Britain’s greatest sporting events and helped raise a fantastic amount for our brave heroes in the NHS. The country is going through what is little short of a nightmare at the moment, so it was heartwarming to see pictures on social media of so many people enjoying themselves watching the excellent ITV Racing and Carm Productions programme which had such impressive viewing figures.

“I am proud that so many BGC members, up and down the country, are supporting in so many different ways the national effort to combat COVID-19, including here by contributing all of their race profits to NHS Charities Together. NHS Charities Together thanked the BGC yesterday but I’d like to thank them for the amazing work that they do in support of the NHS all year round.

”I’m sorry we couldn’t have the real Grand National to find out if Potters Corner would have won or whether it would have been an historic three in a row for Tiger Roll, but at this time of need the nation used the day to come together and back our NHS.

“It’s also fantastic that the Jockey Club will be donating 10,000 tickets to the NHS and social care sector in Merseyside for the first day of the 2021 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree”.

BGC launched a 10 pledge action plan in response to the COVID-19 crisis which includes a commitment by members to support the Government’s ‘National Effort’ by encouraging staff to volunteer for community service, as well as offering premises where possible for use by those supporting the effort to tackle the Coronavirus.

To ensure the integrity of the race BGC set out a 20 point set of rules in addition to members’ standard practice of asking new account holders if they wish to opt-in to marketing and promotions:

Rules and regulations for the virtual Grand National

Betting / Marketing / Advertising

The Licensee hereby agrees to abide by the following Code of Conduct in respect of the Race:

  1. the Licensee will not use the Runners/Race in Agreement to profit, to gain customers or to promote Licensee’s brand and other products;
  2. the Licensee will donate all profits to the NHS Charities Together appeal
  3. the Licensee will only use the fixed prices as contained with the Runners;
  4. in line with the Remote Technical Standards, the race cannot be traded – i.e. prices offered must remain unchanged from initial publication up until the start of the Race;
  5. each way terms should be 1/5 odds first 5 (Inspired will supply only the first 5 finishers on the results page);
  6. exchanges should not offer markets on the Race;
  7. forecast/tricast prices should not be offered;
  8. additionally, no other bet types (matchbets, specials, RequestABets etc) are to be offered;
  9. a £10 maximum bet on each horse shall apply to each customer. A customer will be able to stake a maximum of either £10 win OR £10 each way on an individual horse. NB no separate place betting is permitted;
  10. all profits remaining after costs and duties are accounted for will be donated to charity;
  11. all operators to provide basic instructions to its customers as to how a virtual race operates; and this is a virtual race, the result of which is determined by an independent random number generator (RNG). The odds displayed for each horse reflect the relative probability of each horse winning.
  12. The Licensee agrees to abide by the 10 pledge action plan for COVID-19 as set out by the Betting and Gaming Council


  1. The Virtual GN will not be advertised by operators externally – including but not limited to TV & Press, Digital advertising and Paid Search
  2. The virtual GN will not be promoted in any way via affiliates
  3. The virtual GN can be mentioned in social media but only for organic followers that follow that operator (not promoted to a wider audience)
  4. The virtual GN can be advertised to the operators existing customer base via CRM & onsite banners
  5. Pre, during and post the virtual GN licensees commit to increasing the prominence of safer gambling messaging

Marketing & Promotions

  1. No additional markets can be added
  2. No free bets or bonuses offers can be targeted towards the virtual GN event
  3. Operators should have a link on site and or communications with an opportunity to donate to the NHS

Others participants included Fitzdares, Two Up Digital, Tote, Virginbet, Toals Bet, Quinn Bet, Gowager, Mjsports, BlackType, Bruce Betting, Bet600, Goldchip, Dafabet, Geoff Banks, Boylesports.

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