Virtual horse race raises £2.6m for UK charities

The virtual version of the Grand National was aired this weekend 

Almost one-third of all UK TV viewers tuned in for the Virtual Grand National broadcasted on ITV this weekend. That’s is a total of 4.8m viewers.

ITV decided to create a virtual version Grand National horse racing event, which would have taken place on April 4th in Liverpool, but got canceled because of the current virus epidemic. Although the viewer numbers were only half of those that were expected to have tuned in to the real event it represented a more than six-fold increase over the 2019 Virtual Grand National ratings which was a big win for the organizers. 

Betting & Gaming Council CEO, Michael Dugher.

Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) CEO Michael Dugher issued a statement saying the group was “overwhelmed with the public support” for the virtual race, adding that the nation was clearly “in much need of some light relief.” Most of all they were happy that UK bookmakers will donate £2.6m to National Health Service (NHS) charities thanks to bets placed on this virtual horse race. 

Twitter statistics showed the virtual race Hashtag trending UK lists Saturday afternoon, with numerous users posting videos of punters either celebrating or howling in protest when frontrunner Aso stumbled on the penultimate hurdle. UK bookmakers Coral said the average bettor wagered just around £2. 

Nevertheless, the real Grand National’s cancellation is estimated to have dealt a collective £500m blow to the racing and betting sectors. 

 

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