Windsor MP takes part in the Betting and Gaming Council’s Grand National Charity Bet

Last week, the MP for Windsor, Adam Afriyie, visited the Coral betting shop on Peascod Street, Windsor, to place a £50 charity bet on the 2024 Grand National, taking place on 13th April.

The Grand National Charity Bet is run every year by The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the standards body for the regulated UK betting and gaming industry. The BGC invite MPs to visit either a Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral or Betfred shop in their constituencies to place the free charity bet ahead of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

Any winnings from the bet go to a charity of the MP’s choice, and even if the horse does not win, BGC members will donate £250 to the chosen organisation, ensuring no one misses out.

Adam’s nominated charity is Sebastian’s Action Trust, which he has been a supporter of for many years. Sebastian’s Action Trust provides support to the families of seriously-ill children across the South East, living with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. They employ a holistic approach to care which consists of practical and emotional support, in addition to offering accessible breaks for families at their state-of-the-art facilities, The Woodlands, in Berkshire, and The Bluebells, in Hampshire, providing privacy and space for families and children.

The Grand National is the most popular horserace in the world and this year takes place on Saturday 13th April, at Aintree Racecourse. The sporting spectacular is watched by around 600 million people across 140 countries, and it is estimated over 13 million adults in the UK will have a flutter on the outcome.

Betting is a hugely popular British leisure activity. Each month, around 22.5 million adults in UK place a bet. This includes purchasing lottery tickets, betting on bingo, at a casino or online, and wagering on football, horseracing or other sports. The overwhelming majority (over 97%, according to the Gambling Survey for Great Britain) do so perfectly safely and responsibly. BGC members support 110,000 jobs, generate £4.2 billion in tax and contribute £7.1 billion to the economy in gross value added.

Horseracing is the UK’s second-largest sport, attracting around 5 million visitors each year to 59 racecourses across Great Britain, which include the iconic, world famous, Royal Windsor and Ascot racecourses in the Windsor constituency. The industry generates £4.1 billion for the economy, and supports over 80,000 jobs in the UK.


Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, said:  “The Grand National is one of those great sporting moments when the whole nation comes together. I was delighted to visit Coral in Windsor and meet staff and customers, take up BGC's generous offer of a charity bet, and also discuss the incredibly important work they have been doing to encourage safer gambling.

Betting shops employ tens of thousands of people on the UK’s hard-pressed high streets, supporting local economies up and down the country. For regulars here, they provide a community. In addition, the betting industry more widely makes a significant contribution to UK horseracing, through media rights, sponsorship deals and the horserace betting levy. This has a direct benefit to Windsor, home to the iconic Ascot and Royal Windsor Racecourses”


Betting and Gaming Council CEO, Michael Dugher, said: "Millions of us from all different backgrounds will once again come together to watch the Grand National and have a flutter on the world’s most famous horserace.

It is an occasion like no other and demonstrates once again sport’s unique ability to bring the whole country together. Betting shops support tens of thousands of jobs, contributing to the national and local economy through taxes and business rates. They also provide a vital community for millions of betting and gaming fans.

I also want to say a huge thanks to all MPs, including Adam, who have made the time and effort to meet with their local constituents working in high-street shops; for supporting so many good causes and local charities, and promoting the Grand National, which remains one of Britain’s biggest and best cultural and sporting events seen around the world.”

Betting shops support 42,000 jobs in the UK, contribute £800 million a year in tax to the Treasury, and another £60 million in business rates to local councils.

Meanwhile, a study by ESA Retail found that 89% of betting shop customers combine their trips to the bookies with visits to other local businesses.

According to previous industry research by the Betting and Gaming Council, approximately £250 million will be staked on the Grand National. Meanwhile, a 2023 report by Liverpool Business School found the 2022 Grand National had a total economic impact of over £60 million on the local economy.

The Grand National is expected to generate a further £3 million in tax revenues for the Treasury and £2 million via the horseracing levy to support the sport.”


Find out more about the work of Sebastian’s Action Trust here

Find out more about the Betting and Gaming Council here