Grahame Morris MP visited his local William Hill shop in Seaham to place a £50 charity bet on the 2024 Grand National, with all winnings going to a good cause of their choice.

And even if the horse doesn’t win, BGC members will still donate £250 to Mr Morris’ nominated charity, East Durham Veterans Trust, ensuring no one misses out.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the standards body for the regulated UK betting and gaming industry, invited MPs to visit either a Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral or Betfred shop in their constituency to place the free charity bet ahead of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

If the bet is successful, all winnings will go direct to the MPs’ nominated charity, and if it does not, the charity will receive a £250 donation from the BGC.

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’s estimated over 13 million adults in the UK will have a flutter on the outcome.

Grahame Morris 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 up BGC’s generous offer of a charity bet, and also discuss the incredibly important work they are doing on support 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.”

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 nation together. 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 vital community for millions of betting and gaming fans.

“I also want to say a huge thanks to all MPs, including Grahame, 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 for 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 on the UK’s hard-pressed high streets, 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 horse racing levy to support the sport.

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