UK Bookies have raised £250,000 for Cancer and Covid-19 charities after taking a beating on Thursday’s Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot.
Earlier this week, Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) members vowed to donate all profits, after levy and duties were deducted, from win and each-way bets made on the race to charity.
Participating bookmakers included Paddy Power Betfair, bet365, Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, Sky Bet, Betway, BetVictor, Kindred Group, Grosvenor Sport, Virgin Bet, Fitzdares, Genting Bet and JenningsBet.
Michael Dugher, the BGC’s chief executive, said: “It was a great day for punters, though not such a good one for the bookies.
“However, it’s brilliant to see that despite bookmakers not making a profit in the race, they will still make a large donation of a quarter of a million pounds to four fantastic charities, who undoubtedly deserve every penny. I’d like to thank those BGC members for this wonderful gesture.”
Alastair Warwick, chief operating officer at Ascot Racecourse, added: “This initiative was a tremendous gesture by the betting industry and reflects the ongoing contribution being made throughout the pandemic. The beneficiary charities will be most appreciative of this invaluable funding.”
The funds will be donated to Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund after Khaloosy – the bookie’s second favourite – won the heritage handicap.
The BGC also highlighted Royal Ascot’s #StyledWithThanks charity appeal, which encouraged festival fans to ‘dress-up’ in their best Ascot attire at home, sharing photos to raise money for the National Emergencies’ Trust Relief and NHS Charities – Royal Ascot has backed the #StyledWithThanks appeal with a £100,000 donation.
Tracey Pritchard, Prostate Cancer UK’s Director of Fundraising & Supporter Engagement, said: “I would like to thank everyone at the Betting and Gaming Council and their betting operator members for this incredible donation to Prostate Cancer UK.
“Money raised by this fantastic initiative will go towards life saving 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.”