In a year in which bookmakers have donated millions of pounds to charity, the latest set of beneficiaries have been announced to coincide with Royal Ascot.
Thursday June 18 was Gold Cup Day at the famous festival, and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has confirmed that all profits taken from the Britannia Stakes will be donated to a number of charitable causes.
Gold Cup Day is typically the biggest day of the meeting as far as betting is concerned, and the BGC has confirmed that the 13 brands that fall under their banner will be donating their revenue from the 4:10pm renewal to Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, the Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund.
It is the latest charity drive from the group, and follows hot on the heels of the success of the Virtual Grand National, which replaced the impacted Grand National, and from which £3 million was donated by the bookies to various NHS charities.
The chief operating officer at Ascot Racecourse, Alastair Warwick, commented on the ‘tremendous gesture’ and praised the industry’s ongoing commitment to helping well-deserving charities.
The Betting and Gaming Council’s chief executive, Michael Dugher, said:
“Royal Ascot is the premier highlight of the racing calendar, and it’s fitting that the profits betting companies make from one of its greatest races will go towards some fantastic causes.
“The betting and gaming industry has stepped up to the plate to help the national effort, and I’m delighted that again we can show our support for those on the front line with this fantastic initiative.”
A Much-Needed Boost
Decimated by restrictions which forced all major sporting competitions to be either delayed or cancelled completely, the bookies are relishing their best week in months.
The return of the Premier League on Wednesday will have boosted the coffers, and with the action continuing at Ascot the forecast is that the industry will make around £150 million in profit across the festival – an increased amount with a higher captive audience currently watching on from home.
They will have been buoyed to by a series of results that have gone their way on the flat. Battash was a well-backed winner on day one – part of a Jim Crowley treble, but 14/1, 16/1 and 18/1 in Tuesday’s other showpiece renewals will have had the bookies laughing as they analysed their profit & loss columns for the day.
Japan was downed in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on day two – a handy earner for the bookies courtesy of 5/1 shot Lord North, while Frankie Dettori – the perennial scourge of the sportsbooks – was beaten into second in the Hampton Court Stakes.
However, it hasn’t been an overwhelming cause for celebration. Stradivarius, backed into 4/5 on raceday, claimed a third consecutive Gold Cup crown, and that would have put a significant dent in their profits.