BGC’s Grand National Charity Drive Raises £15,000

The Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) Grand National Charity Bet campaign has raised £15,115 ($18,822) for good causes with the help of the showpiece race held at Aintree Racecourse.

Over 50 MPs Placed Charity Bets 

More than 50 members of parliament (MPs) placed charity bets on the most famous steeplechase race in the world as part of this initiative.

Operators like Coral, Paddy Power, Betfred, William Hill, and Ladbrokes all participated, alongside independent firms Corbett Bookmakers and JenningsBet redirected all winnings to the hand-picked charities indicated by each MP after handing £50 ($62) from the BGC to back a preferred horse

Even nominated charities whose partner MPs were less lucky can still expect to receive a donation of at least £250 ($311).

Justin Tomlinson, Christian Wakeford, Maria Caulfield, Preet Gill, Greg Smith, Peter Aldous, and Liam Kerr all placed bets on the race’s winner, I am Maximus.

The MPs placed in-person bets in their constituencies. 

A few of the charities selected to benefit from the yearly campaign’s donations are Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, The Fed, which is a social care provider for the Jewish community in Greater Manchester, and Sir Jackie Stewart’s Race Against Dementia.

40% Increase From 2023’s Returns to Good Causes

Compared to last year’s charity drive which returned a little under £11,000 ($13,500) to good causes, this year’s amount marked a rise of close to 40%

The increase was praised by BGC’s chief executive, Michael Dugher

The former Labor MP, who also championed the initiative, spoke highly of the retail staff and the MPs for their efforts.

Dugher added they “had more MPs than ever before, from right across the political divide supporting the BGC and supporting the Grand Nationals ever,” including around 600 million people from all parts of the globe. 

Around 12 million people in the UK also placed bets on the Grand National, “showing once again that for millions of us, having a flutter is part of our great British culture.”

The Grand National race was first held in 1839 at Aintree. Currently, the race takes place over four miles and 514 yards

Red Rum continues to hold the record for the most wins, with its first-ranking finishes in 1973, 1974, and 1977.

Last week, the BGC appointed Grainne Hurst as the new chief executive officer.

Betting and gaming represent a critical component of the UK’s dynamic leisure and entertainment industry, raising approximately £3.2 billion ($3.89 billion) in taxes for the UK Exchequer, contributing £7.1 billion ($8.84 billion) to the economy, and supporting around 110,000 jobs.