British bookmakers launch annual Britannia Stakes charity drive 

The initiative is in its fifth year.
The initiative is in its fifth year.

Bookmakers will make donations to several UK charities.

UK.- Major British bookmakers have again pledged to donate their profits from the Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot to UK charities. The world famous feature handicap will take place on June 20.

Betting and Gaming Council members Flutter (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet), Entain (Ladbrokes, Coral), Evoke (888, William Hill), Kindred (Unibet), Betway, Rank Group (Grosvenor Sport), Virgin Bet, LivescoreBet, Fitzdares, Star Sports, QuinnBet, Tote and Bet with Ascot have all signed up. They will donate all profits made from win and each-way bets after levy and duties are deducted. If bookmakers fail to make a profit on the race, they have agreed to make a combined donation of £200,000 to be split among the nominated charities, down from £250,000 last year.

Now in its fifth year, the initiative will see donations go to Prostate Cancer UK, Ascot Racecourse Supports, Missing People, Heros, GoRacingGreen and the Churchill Lines Foundation. Since its launch, the Britannia Stakes initiative has raised just under £3m.

The BGC said it hoped the initiative would help punters enjoy a race where, even if they lose, a range of good causes are guaranteed to win.

CEO and acting chair Michael Dugher said: “I am absolutely delighted that BGC members are once more raising vital funds at the Royal Meeting for some of the country’s top charities.

“To date, the BGC’s Britannia Stakes Charity Bet campaign has raised nearly £3 million for a host of good causes, and on behalf of the BGC and our members, we are proud to once more celebrate this iconic race, and raise vital funds along the way.

“Tens of millions of people up and down the country enjoy a flutter each month and I’m delighted that some of the country’s biggest bookmakers will once again donate their profits from one of Royal Ascot’s top races, the Britannia Stakes. I am once again indebted to everyone at Royal Ascot for their continued support.”

Laura Kerby, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “I would like to thank everyone at the Betting and Gaming Council and their betting operator members for their wonderful gesture in once again helping donate vital funds to Prostate Cancer UK.

“As a charity, we want all racing fans to be aware of their risk of prostate cancer and major events like the Britannia Stakes help us increase awareness within the racing community. 1 in 8 men will be affected by prostate cancer, it’s the most common cancer in men, and an early diagnosis can save your life.

“Money raised by this brilliant incentive will fund ground-breaking research towards a screening programme, so we can catch prostate cancer early and save lives.”

Alastair Warwick, chief executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: “We are hugely grateful once more to the members of the Betting and Gaming Council involved in this generous initiative which has raised so much money for worthwhile causes since 2020.

“We are thrilled that Ascot Racecourse Supports will be a beneficiary again and look forward to being able to further support our community programme in 2024 and beyond.”

Grace Muir, founder and CEO of HEROS, said: “HEROS is both honoured and extremely grateful to have been chosen by the Betting and Gaming Council as one of the charities chosen to benefit from The Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot, a very generous initiative from the bookmakers. A donation of this kind is hugely important and significant to HEROS, it allows us to continue to build and grow the innovative and essential work we do in both retraining and rehoming of former racehorses and development of the HEROS Education programme offering unique and bespoke learning to students from 11yo upwards.

“Since 2006, HEROS has rehomed and retrained 100’s of former racehorses, finding them new and happy lives after their racing days. HEROS Education, started in 2015, with grant funding from The Racing Foundation and is an alternative to school provision for SEN students, who are not thriving in a mainstream school environment. We currently welcome up to 60 students per week and are currently working hard on expanding our facilities to further meet the demand of the many SEN students in our area.”

Jo Youle OBE, chief executive of Missing People, said: “Our thanks to the Betting and Gaming Council, their members – and everyone safely enjoying a flutter – for this incredible support via Britannia Stakes.

“Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. This support will go such a long way to helping people in crisis, supporting their loved ones and to help find missing people. The charity’s Helpline is open every day for the 170,000 people reported missing each year. That is only possible thanks to support like this.”

GoRacingGreen founder Debbie Matthews, said: “I am so grateful for the backing of BGC members and their support for stable visits across the UK and Ireland to those who struggle with their mental health.

“This additional funding will go an extremely long way in working with racecourses to get as many people to the racecourse as possible, which not only has a positive effect on their wellbeing, but also gets more people going racing.”

Roger Lewis, chairman of the Churchill Lines Foundation (CLF), said: “The Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) is a permanently operational special forces tri-service unit of the British Armed Forces, formed in 2006, to provide high-end support to UK SF and allied units around the world. The members of SFSG give extraordinary service to keep us all safe 24/7. The inevitable demands on both those who serve as well as their families are considerable.

“The CLF is the discreet charitable arm of SFSG and exists solely to provide immediate and significant welfare support to unit members and their families. CLF is both grateful and humbled to be a part-recipient of the proceeds of this year’s Britannia Stakes race. Thank you all so much.”

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