Scott Benton MP, visited his local William Hill shop in Blackpool South to place a £50 charity bet on the 2022 Grand National, with all the winnings going to a charity of their choice.
And even if their horse doesn’t come in, BGC members will be making a £100 donation to their nominated charity, ensuring charities don’t miss out.
The Betting and Gaming Council, the standards body for the regulated UK betting and gaming industry, invited MPs to visit either a Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral,Betfred or independent betting shop in their constituency to place their charity bet ahead of the world’s greatest steeplechase.
The Grand National is the most popular horse race in the world and this year takes place on Saturday 9th April. It is watched by an around600 million people across 140 countries, and it is estimated over 13m adults in the UK will be placing a bet on it.
This is the first year since 2019 betting shops have been open on Grand National day.
Due to the Covid pandemic betting shops on hard-pressed high streets across the nation were closed during the Grand National in 2021 while in 2020, the Grand National took the form of a virtual race.
It was hugely successful in its own right, with betting companies raising £2.9 million for NHS Charities Together.
Betting shops support 46,000 jobs on the UK’s hard-pressed high streets, contribute £1bn a year in tax to the Treasury and another £60m in business rates to local councils.
Meanwhile, a study by ESA Retail found that 89 per cent of betting shop customers combine their trip to the bookies with visits to other local businesses.
Scott Benton MP said:
"The Grand National is one of those great sporting moments when the whole nation comes together. I was delighted to visit my local betting shop to meet the staff and customers, take William Hill up on their generous offer of a charity bet and also discuss the incredibly important work they have been doing on safer gambling.
“Betting shops employ tens of thousands on hard-pressed high streets and support our local economy through business rates contributions. And for regulars, they provide a community. I was delighted to visit and hear more about their place in our constituency.”
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, stated:
"I would like to thank Scott Benton for taking the time to visit William Hill and take part in the BGC’s charity bet on the Grand National.
“The Grand National is the nation’s punt, one of the few times a year, millions of people from every different backgrounds come together for a flutter and for the first time in three years, bookies will be open and taking customer’s bets.
“Betting shops support tens of thousands of jobs, bring vital revenue to the UK’s hard-pressed high streets and support the national and local economies through tax and business rates. They also provide community to millions of betting and gaming fans.
“We’re delighted Scott Benton has visited their local bookies to hear about how our members are boosting local economies, and hear about their vital work promoting safer play. On behalf of the Betting and Gaming Council, we wish them the best of luck.”
According to industry research conducted by the Betting and Gaming Council approximately £250m will be staked on the main event. The Grand National is expected to generate £3m in tax revenues for the Treasury and £2m in horse racing levy to support the sport.