Some of the UK’s top charities will land a big-money windfall after bookies handed over all their profits from a flagship race.
Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, the three Armed Forces charities and Care Radio will receive a share of £1.25 million after 18/1 shot Peretto, ridden by Oisin Murphy, won the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot last Thursday.
Betting and Gaming Council members Flutter (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet), bet365, Entain (Ladbrokes, Coral), William Hill, Kindred (Unibet), BetVictor, Betway, Rank Group (Grosvenor Sport) and AnzoGroup (Livescore Bet and Virgin Bet), plus the Tote, Fitzdares and Sporting Index, all signed up to the fundraising initiative.
In all, thanks to the support of punters who enjoyed a flutter on the race, they will hand over £1.25 million to the charities.
That easily tops the £250,000 given out following the first Britannia Stakes charity fundraiser a year ago.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “I am absolutely thrilled by the amount raised by this fantastic initiative at Royal Ascot.
“This money will make a huge difference to the incredible work done by the charities involved.
“I’d like to thank all the BGC members who took part – as well as their customers who enjoyed a flutter on the race – for their generosity in supporting some really great causes.”
Alastair Warwick, Managing Director, Ascot Racecourse, said, “We’re delighted that Royal Ascot has once again played a part in raising valuable funds for these deserving charities.
“I know this fantastic initiative from the betting industry is hugely appreciated and the money will be used for some extremely worthwhile causes.”
Brigadier Peter Walker, the lead during Royal Ascot for the Royal Navy and Royal Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “The charities are very grateful to the betting and gaming industry for their most generous support, which will help all three charities in their work to aid Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families in times of need.
“Over the pandemic it has been very difficult to raise funds and this boost to the charities income is very much appreciated.”
Marie Curie Head of Special Events, Susan Boissier, said: “We’d like to thank the Betting and Gaming Council members for this incredible donation, which enables us to support people across the UK through our frontline nursing and hospice care and support services.
“Our fundraising has been impacted by coronavirus and its thanks to generous initiatives such as this that we are there for people and to help improve everyone’s experience at the end of life.”
Nicola Tallett, Prostate Cancer UK’s Director of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement, said: “I would like to thank everyone at the Betting and Gaming Council and their betting operator members for their support for a second year – and this terrific donation to Prostate Cancer UK.
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men the UK, with around 400,000 men living with the disease and it’s fitting that this falls on the week of Father’s Day, which is a key date on our calendar. We want to celebrate and remember dads, the selfless, funny, brilliant things they do that make them great – the care, the jokes, the dancing – the things we miss when they are lost too soon.
“Royal Ascot is an iconic occasion on the sporting calendar, and money raised by this fantastic initiative will go towards lifesaving research into treatments and better tests to stop the disease being a killer, and allow men and their loved ones to access our support service.”
Hedley Finn OBE, chairman of Care Radio said: “Care Radio is only a matter of days old, so we are absolutely thrilled to have the support of the Betting and Gaming Council and its members.
“This has been a difficult and challenging year for NHS carers, care home workers and at-home carers, both paid and unpaid. This generous contribution will help us reach out to many more carers and provide them with the support and encouragement they need. We are grateful to the betting and gaming industry and, of course, to the many punters across the UK who made this donation possible.”