Britain’s biggest bookmakers have donated £ 1.25million to a selection of charities after spectators returned to Royal Ascot.
The pledge to raise money for charity at this year’s racing event was organized by the Betting and Gaming Council. Industry members including Flutter, Entain and William Hill all donated a share of their profits from last Thursday’s big race, the Britannia Stakes.
Royal Ascot a winner for UK charities
Tir 18/1 (+ 1800) Peretto, ridden by Oisin Murphy, was the surprise winner of the Britannia Stakes. However, the biggest winners of the day were Marie Curie, Prostate Cancer UK, three armed forces charities and Care Radio.
Thanks to the members of the Betting and Gaming Council, they will receive a share of £ 1.25million. That’s £ 1million more than the group raised in 2020. The increase in the donation was made possible, in part, thanks to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in England.
The five-day racing event was held behind closed doors in 2020 but received special “pilot” status last week. This meant that the racetrack could accommodate 12,000 spectators per day. Data from Royal Ascot will be used to shape how the government handles major public events over the coming months. More immediately, the return of the crowds boosted the morale of those involved in racing and betting.
ITV coverage of the festival noted Ascot Racecourse was losing at least £ 10million by hosting the event with restrictions in place. Despite the financial implications, the return of some semblance of normalcy meant that there was a wave of betting activity.
UK bookmakers have yet to release their results, but the charitable donation suggests profits have been significantly higher this year. Indeed, 2020 saw price funds cut by 50% and ticket sales plummet to zero as government restrictions prevented crowds from attending. So even with some limits in place, the 2021 festival was an improvement.
Mixed reactions to lack of royal restrictions
The return of the crowds to Royal Ascot has been positive for racing and sports betting, but it hasn’t gone well with everyone.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week that England’s so-called ‘freedom day’ on June 21 was to be postponed until July 19. The delay in removing the final level of COVID-19 restrictions in England was then reflected in Wales and Scotland.
“Do you have your mask? “
They just laugh at you
– Holiday N York Moors (@rosellacottage) June 20, 2021
For a number of companies, especially in the hotel industry, the last-minute U-turn has been called the death knell. As a result, the site of 12,000 revelers in Ascot who can socialize without masks and distancing restrictions has annoyed some.
Notting Hill Carnival is canceled due to fears of COVID transmissions, but Royal Ascot is still on because posh people have to watch an animal get shot at least once a year or they start to get excited .
– 📖 SpecificityArchives 🏳️🌈 (@SpecificityA) June 18, 2021
Whether justified or not, the backlash from some people on Twitter cannot make people forget the donation made by British bookmakers.