Betting Sites to donate Royal Ascot feature race profits to charity in honour of King Charles III
Leading UK betting sites have pledged to donate to charity all profits from an important horse-racing event at Royal Ascot in a gesture aimed to commemorate the coronation of King Charles III. Royal Ascot, which is one of the most significant horse-racing events, both in the UK and across the world, will be held on 22nd June 2023 and is expected to be swarmed with fans of horse racing as usual. The race chosen by the betting sites is the Britannia Stakes, which makes the gesture even more symbolic due to the associations it has with the Crown.
A number of popular betting sites in the UK have already pledged to support the campaign, which is expected to please the new King, who himself is heavily involved in numerous charities and charitable events. Some of the bookmakers who are taking part in the pledge include Paddy Power, Sky Bet, and Betfair (all part of betting and gaming group Flutter Entertainment), Ladbrokes and Coral (owned by Entain), bet365, Kindred Entertainment (owner of Unibet and 32Red), Grosvenor Sport, Betway, Fitzdares, 888 and William Hill, and a number of others. All of those taking part in the charity initiative are members of the Betting and Gaming Council. All profits generated from winning and each-way bets will benefit several nominated charities. The list of charities includes SportsAid (whose patron is the King’s daughter-in-law, HRH the Princess of Wales),the Holocaust Educational Trust, SASRA, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Together for Looked After children, and Ascot Racecourse Supports.
The event has been hailed by a number of officials involved in the betting and gaming industry, including the Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council Michael Dugher, who said:
“I am once again delighted that the BGC’s largest members are helping celebrate the King’s Coronation by raising vital funds at the Royal Meeting for some of the country’s top charities. It is also a fitting tribute to the Late Queen Elizabeth II whose passion for horse racing was renowned, having bred multiple successful horses and clocking up 1,800 winners in her time.”
Dugher added that millions of people in the UK enjoy a responsible bet now and again, and that he felt proud that betting sites and bookmakers are once again doing something socially and ethically responsible by donating their profits to worthy causes, and to those needing them most. He pointed out that this is not the first time betting sites have donated their profits from the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot. For example, last year a variety of good causes received a total of £1.2m from the event. The Betting and Gaming Council also noted that its members have donated over £5.5m to charity since the BGC was founded in 2019, and that the charities which have benefited from the charitable events include Prostate Cancer UK, the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, NHS Charities Together, the RAF Benevolent Fund, Sue Ryder, and many others. It is important to note that even if the bookmakers fail to make any profit whatsoever, they have pledged to donate a donation of £250,000 to go towards the agreed charities.
Another tribute to the efforts made by those involved in the initiative came from the Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse Alastair Warwick, who said:
“It is fantastic news that the leading bookmakers will once again be donating all profits from the Britannia Stakes to charity. The money raised since 2020 has been extremely well received, including by our own Ascot Racecourse Supports programme and the contributions have enabled us to support some extremely worthy causes and carry out important work in the community.”
Ascot Racecourse is one of the institutions of British horse-racing, with its eventful history spanning over 300 years. It has close ties with the Royal Family, and especially with Queen Elizabeth II, who was a passionate owner, breeder, (and rider) of horses, and who often visited the Ascot. Racing fans were always excited to watch the Queen’s horses, who were easily identifiable as the jockeys wore her racing colours – purple body, gold braid, scarlet sleeves, and a black velvet cap with a gold fringe. There is no doubt that the late Queen was a big fan of horse-racing, as she attended the annual Royal Meeting every year between 1953 and 2021, and was known for presenting the Gold Cup and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes annually – another favourite tradition of race-goers.
This year’s Royal Ascot is expected to be an outstanding event full of excitement, especially with the country having returned fully back to normal after CoVID, with no sign of further restrictions in sight. If any bettors want to take part in the charity campaign, they could head to one of the participating UK betting sites and place a bet at the Britannia Stakes, while at the same time taking advantage of one of their excellent introductory offers for new customers. For more feedback on the campaign from representatives of the chosen charities, please see below.
Chief Executive of SportsAid Tim Lawler:
“This is really exciting news for us. It’s a great privilege to be alongside these other emotive and important charities to benefit from such a prestigious and high-profile British sporting occasion. A huge thank you to the Betting and Gaming Council members from everyone at SportsAid. What a wonderful surprise and a very welcome boost.”
Chief Executive of Holocaust Educational Trust Karen Pollock:
“The Holocaust Educational Trust works in schools across the UK to ensure that the horrors of the past are never forgotten. As Holocaust survivors dwindle in number and as the Holocaust fades from living memory to history, our work is more urgent than ever. This support will help us to continue our vital mission and we are enormously grateful.”
Director of Fundraising at Cystic Fibrosis Trust Anne Shinkwin:
“We would like to thank BGC for this generous donation to fund our work at Cystic Fibrosis Trust supporting people affected by cystic fibrosis, a life-long genetic condition with a median age of death of just 38 years old. This support will ensure we can continue to be there for anyone who needs us, campaign for better care and keep funding vital research so everyone can live a life unlimited by cystic fibrosis.”
Secretary of the SAS Regimental Association (SASRA) John Allcock
“Members of the SAS give extraordinary service to keep us safe. This creates extraordinary demands on both those who serve as well as their families. This requires extraordinary support for which there is a rising demand. The Association exists to provide this support. The SAS Regimental Association is humbled and grateful to be a part-recipient of the proceeds of this years Britannia Stakes Race.”
Chair of Trustees at TLC Peter Lister:
“We are extremely grateful to the Betting and Gaming Council for the opportunity to be a beneficiary of the Britannia Stakes race at Royal Ascot this year. TLC was launched 12 years ago to improve the lives of Looked After Children in Calderdale and through the funds raised at this event we will be able to help more young people to have inspiring educational experiences and reach their potential.”