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BGC raises £15,000 in Grand National charity betting initiative

| By Robert Fletcher
Great Britain’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has raised over £15,000 (€17,565/$18,635) for good causes as part of its annual Grand National charity betting initiative.
BGC Grand National

Each year, the BGC invites members of parliament (MPs) to place charity bets on the Grand National showpiece horseracing event. Operators hand over all winnings from these wagers to each MP’s charity of choice.  

I Am Maximus, ridden by Paul Townend, owned by JP McManus and trained by Willie Mullins, was the 7/1 favourite winner. Christian Wakeford MP, Maria Caulfield MP, Justin Tomlinson MP and Peter Aldous MP were among those who backed I Am Maximus.

In total, more than 50 MPs took part in the initiative. Others included Sir Alok Sharma, Dame Caroline Noakes and Scotland minister John Lamont.

For the nominated charities whose partner MPs were not so lucky, charities will still receive a donation. BGC members including William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power and Betfred jointly pledged £250 to each featured charity. 

After combining these donations with winning bets, this means charities will receive a total of £15,115. This is an increase on last year’s £13,500.

BGC chief: Grand National betting part of British culture 

The Grand National is one of the most famous horse races in the world. First held at Aintree Racecourse in 1839, the current race takes place over four miles and 514 yards. Red Rum still holds the record for the most wins, finishing first in 1973, 1974 and 1977.

“600 million people from all over the world tuned in to watch one of the best Grand Nationals,” BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said. “An estimated 12 million people in the UK – roughly a third of adults – enjoyed a bet on the National. This shows once again that for millions of us having a flutter is part of our great British culture.

“I would like to thank all those MPs who took part for supporting so many fantastic good causes and for taking the time to visit constituents working in betting shops. We had more MPs than ever before, from right across the political divide, ministers and shadow ministers, supporting the BGC and supporting the Grand National.”

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