Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Operators Donate £1.25M To Charities In BGC Britannia Stakes Fundraiser

BGC Britannia Stakes Fundraiser

Several of the UK’s top gambling operators have donated £1.25 million to charities as part of the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) Britannia Stakes fundraiser.

Last week, gambling operators Flutter Entertainment, the Rank Group, AnzoGroup, BetVictor, Kindred, Entain, Bet365, Betway, Tote, Sporting Index, and Fitzdares all agreed to donate their profits from the Britannia Stakes race at the Royal Ascot as part of a fundraising initiative.

Now, charities such as Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, the three Armed Forces Charities, and Care Radio will all receive a share of £1.25 million after Peretto, ridden by jockey Oisin Murphy, won the flagship race last Thursday. The giant sum tops last year’s fundraising donation of £250,000.

Michael Dugher, the Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), said in a statement: “I am absolutely thrilled by the amount raised by this fantastic initiative at Royal Ascot. This money will make a huge difference to the incredible work done by the charities involved. I’d like to thank all the BGC members who took part – as well as their customers who enjoyed a flutter on the race – for their generosity in supporting some really great causes.”

Alastair Warwick, the Managing Director at Ascot Racecourse, added: “We’re delighted that Royal Ascot has once again played a part in raising valuable funds for these deserving charities. I know this fantastic initiative from the betting industry is hugely appreciated and the money will be used for some extremely worthwhile causes.”

Susan Boissier, the Head of Special Events at Marie Curie, said: “We’d like to thank the Betting and Gaming Council members for this incredible donation, which enables us to support people across the UK through our frontline nursing and hospice care and support services. Our fundraising has been impacted by coronavirus and it’s thanks to generous initiatives such as this that we are there for people and to help improve everyone’s experience at the end of life.”

Prostate Cancer UK’s Director of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement Nicola Tallett added: “I would like to thank everyone at the Betting and Gaming Council and their betting operator members for their support for a second year – and this terrific donation to Prostate Cancer UK.

“Royal Ascot is an iconic occasion on the sporting calendar, and money raised by this fantastic initiative will go towards lifesaving research into treatments and better tests to stop the disease being a killer, and allow men and their loved ones to access our support service.”

Hedley Finn OBE, the Chairman of Care Radio, commented: “Care Radio is only a matter of days old, so we are absolutely thrilled to have the support of the Betting and Gaming Council and its members. This has been a difficult and challenging year for NHS carers, care home workers and at-home carers, both paid and unpaid. This generous contribution will help us reach out to many more carers and provide them with the support and encouragement they need. We are grateful to the betting and gaming industry and, of course, to the many punters across the UK who made this donation possible.”

BoyleSports Expresses Interest In Buying William Hill’s UK Shops

Meanwhile, Irish bookmaker BoyleSports, following companies 888 Holdings, Entain, and Apollo Global Management, has expressed interest in buying William Hill’s UK betting shops as part of a move to increase its presence within the United Kingdom.

Earlier this year, US casino operator Caesars Entertainment was approved to take over William Hill for £2.9 billion. Upon announced the acquisition, the Vegas-based operator revealed that it would be focusing on William Hill’s US operations and selling William Hill’s international business, including all 1,400 UK betting shops.

In a statement via Gambling Insider, a spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “BoyleSports would certainly be interested in acquiring some or all of William Hill’s UK shops, or indeed any other opportunity that makes sense for our business. We have made no secret of our ambition to be one of the principal operators on the UK high street and believe that our retail and digital offerings represents a best-in-class, safe, and enjoyable proposition for the betting public.

“We already have 21 shops in the UK which, along with our 45 shops in Northern Ireland and our recently upgraded online betting site, gives us a sizeable foothold in the UK retail and online markets. The sale of the William Hill estate presents us with a rare opportunity to achieve the retail scale we have been targeting.”

Kindred Group Partners With Relax Gaming For LGBTQ+ Avatars

Also this week, Kindred Group, the operator of several well-known gambling websites in the UK, has partnered with Relax Gaming to create the industry’s first-ever LGBTQ+ avatars, available exclusively with the Kindred Group’s network.

According to the Kindred Group’s press release, the avatars were made to celebrate Pride Month and were developed as part of Kindred’s LGBTQ+ Network meeting. The brand new avatars blend in with current avatar options, but the gambling operator says they offer “alternative options” for customers.

Gavin Hayward, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Kindred Group, said in a statement: “The accumulative impact over time of these adjustments and inclusion is important for minority-identifying individuals and I am glad that we, as a company, can be a part of that. Internally, it means Kindred employees can be proud to work for a diverse and inclusive company, whatever their gender or sexual identity. This is not a tick-box exercise for Kindred, this is aligned with our corporate values and our broader Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. It might be seen as a small thing for many but we know it brings reassurance that most LGBTQ+ people don’t often see.”

Katharine Arnsby, a member of Kindred’s LGBTQ+ Network, said: “It’s amazing to work for a company that is open to suggestions like this. It’s a big world, and there are a lot of different people out there. I have been part of the LGBTQ+ community for many years, and I’m thrilled to see these acknowledgements of inclusion from the mainstream. The difference is vast from when I started in this industry 20 years ago, and it’s thanks to individuals and companies like Kindred driving change.”