Stuart Andrew portrait

DCMS Minister Stuart Andrew praises BGC Britannia Stakes charity race

Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew has written exclusively for the Racing Post praising the BGC’s Britannia Stakes charity race and tackling issues concerning their readers.

Some of the UK’s top charities secured vital funding after bookmakers made a huge donation following the flagship 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.

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.

I welcome the financial benefits this race provides to some of our most important charities
Stuart Andrew
DCMS Minister

UK gambling minister: let me reassure Racing Post readers about financial risk checks

Last week hundreds of thousands of people descended on Berkshire to attend Royal Ascot. On Thursday, the course hosted the Britannia Stakes and, as the UK charities minister, I welcome the financial benefits this race provides to some of our most important charities, with bookmakers donating all profits from the feature handicap to worthy causes.

This government is immensely proud of the history around the race and our broader horseracing heritage. We are determined to help the industry thrive so the sport can continue to hold its special place in the nation’s hearts.

Since we published our gambling white paper in April, I've heard concerns across the racing industry, often covered by the Racing Post, about the impact our new regulations may have on punters and the sport’s revenues. The government and the Gambling Commission will launch formal consultations over the coming weeks and months looking at the plans in more depth ahead of our main measures – including the gambling operator levy and online slot stake limits – coming into force over the next year.

We want to support horseracing to succeed, but we need to ensure the measures designed to shield vulnerable gamblers are right. It is therefore vital we go through these crucial consultation periods.

One area I know is particularly concerning is financial risk checks. We understand most people gamble without issue and problem gambling rates remain low, so I want to reassure Racing Post readers these measures will not impact those people, or anyone who put a few quid on the horses at Ascot over the past few days.

The checks will only look at whether the highest-spending customers’ losses are a sign their gambling is out of control. Eighty per cent of people will never be impacted by even the lowest level of check. Only about three per cent of the highest spending accounts will have more detailed checks.

We have begun our review of the horserace betting levy, which I know racing has been calling for since 2018. We want racing to be appropriately funded and we will look at the evidence from betting and racing. We will focus on what has changed since 2017 when we last reviewed the levy. That review brought online operators within scope and doubled the amount returned to racing over the subsequent year.

I said back in April the white paper’s impact on the sport would be minimal. I stand by this. I continue to meet regularly with representatives of the betting and racing industries and will continue to listen to them to make absolutely sure we get an outcome which will support racing for many years to come.

Stuart Andrew is the UK Minister for Sport, Gambling and Civil Society and Minister for Equalities

You can read the article on the Racing Post website here>

Picture courtesy House of Commons.

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