The UK’s biggest betting operators, including Betway, are lining up to ensure the NHS is the big winner at this year’s Virtual Grand National.

Along with a number of competitors, we have confirmed that all of our profits from the race will be donated to NHS Charities Together, the umbrella organisation which represents over 140 NHS charities. Collectively, these charities contribute £1 million a day to support the work of our NHS.

The initiative has the backing of our fellow Betting and Gaming Council members and Inspired Entertainment, who are using their technology to replicate the great race.

BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “With the UK understandably and rightly in lockdown, unfortunately the Grand National can’t take place; however the virtual Grand National will be the closest we can get to creating one of those moments when we can all come together in celebration, not just for the world’s greatest sporting event, but for the NHS heroes working on the front line to keep us all safe.

“I am delighted that our members have stepped up in this way to support the national effort to combat COVID-19 by contributing all of their race profits to NHS Charities Together. Millions of us love a flutter on the Grand National. For many, it’s the only time of the year they place a bet. This year, the big winner will be our NHS.”

Betway spokesman Alan Alger said: “As official betting partner of the real-life race it’s obviously a disappointment, but completely understandable that we’re not enjoying three days of thrilling racing at Aintree this week.

“It’s fantastic that the leading players in the industry have come together to raise money for such a worthy and current cause and it’s hoped that a nice sum can be achieved for NHS Charities Together.”

The offer comes days after the BGC launched a 10-pledge action plan in response to the COVID-19 crisis which includes a commitment by members to support the Government’s ‘National Effort’ by encouraging staff to volunteer for community service, as well as offering premises where possible for use by those supporting the effort to tackle the Coronavirus.

As this is a one-off we have agreed with NHS Charities Together that stakes will be limited to £10 per horse per customer for the event or £10 each way per horse.

The Virtual Grand National, which is Produced by Carm Productions in partnership with Inspired Entertainment, will be shown on ITV on Saturday 4 April at 5.00pm.

Additional donations can be made here:

How does the Virtual Grand National work?

The Virtual Grand National is a computer-simulated version of Aintree's world-famous steeplechase, designed by Inspired Entertainment.

They used computer-generated imagery (CGI) to recreate, as accurately as possible, all aspects of the race such as the course layout and National fences.

The simulation itself is made up of mathematical algorithms using data taken from the horses' previous performances. The race's outcome uses a number of factors such as age, weight, form and weather conditions but also contains details such as fallers, unseated riders and racing incidents.

Data on all of the 40 runners from this year's race have been added and the computer has generated odds.

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