Speaking at the final day of the Royal Ascot festival on Friday, Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) Chief Executive Michael Dugher has reiterated the importance of the betting industry’s financial relationship with horse racing.
Dugher noted how the event demonstrates the importance of betting and horse racing’s close relationship, pointing to the major financial support racing receives from the sector in the form of sponsorship and marketing arrangements, broadcasting and the betting levy.
“Royal Ascot is a reminder of how important the relationship between betting and racing is,” Dugher remarked.
“Betting supports racing to the tune of £350 million every year and we’re proud to support the group for racing.
“Of course racing itself supports 85,000 jobs and contributes billions to the economy, as well as perhaps uniquely being a sport that brings everyone together.”
Dugher’s comments are a reiteration of one of the BGC’s key arguments against overregulation of the betting industry – the sector’s financial contributions to both sports and the wider British economy.
In March of this year, the trade association highlighted the findings of an Ernst & Young report which outlined the betting and gaming industry’s monetary support for not just horse racing but also football, rugby league, darts and snooker.
Overall, the industry commits £40 million to the to English Football League (EFL) and its clubs, £10 million to darts and snooker and £2.5 million to rugby league.
Dugher has previously warned of the consequences of over-regulation of the legal betting and gaming industry, arguing that such actions could drive bettors towards unlicensed operators, which did not observe many – if not all – of the customer safeguarding policies implemented by licenced companies.
Outside of discussing the financial relationship between racing and betting, Dugher also took his video appearance on Friday as an opportunity to focus on the industry’s charitable contributions.
Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie and Care Radio and three armed forces charity were supported by the Britannia Stakes donations this year, with donations coming from a range of BGC members including bet365, BetVictor, Betway, Entain (Ladbrokes, Coral), Flutter Entertainment (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet), William Hill, Kindred (Unibet), Rank Group (Grosvenor Sport), the Tote and .
The Chief Executive concluded: “It’s great to be here at Royal Ascot and it’s great that BGC is supporting, once again, the Britannia Stakes.”