Neil Bibby MSP has backed the Betting and Gaming Council’s Charity Bet on the Grand National.

The West of Scotland MSP visited a local Paddy Power shop in Paisley to place a £50 charity bet on this weekend’s race, with all the winnings going to a charity of his choice – Paisley based Star Power.

Neil placed his bet on Any Second Now at odds of 11/1.

And even if his horse doesn’t come in, BGC members will be making a £250 donation to his nominated charity, ensuring no one misses out.
The Betting and Gaming Council, the standards body for the regulated UK betting and gaming industry, invited MSPs and MPs to visit either a Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred or independent betting shop in their constituency to place their charity bet ahead of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

The Grand National is the most popular horse race in the world and this year takes place on Saturday 15th April. It is watched by around 600 million people across 140 countries, and it is estimated over 13m adults in the UK will be placing a bet on it.

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 £60m in business rates to local councils.

Meanwhile, a study by ESA Retail found that 89 per cent of betting shop customers combine their trip to the bookies with visits to other local businesses.

Neil Bibby MSP 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 Paddy Power up on their generous offer of a charity bet and also discuss the incredibly important work they have been doing on 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.”

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “I would like to thank Neil Bibby for taking the time to visit Paddy Power and take part in the BGC’s charity bet on the Grand National.

“Millions of people, from all different backgrounds, will be coming together to watch the Grand National and place a bet on the world’s most famous horserace.

“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 community to millions of betting and gaming fans.

“We’re delighted Neil Bibby has visited his local bookies to hear about how our members are boosting local economies, and hear about their vital work promoting safer play. On behalf of the Betting and Gaming Council, we wish him the best of luck.”

According to industry research conducted by the Betting and Gaming Council approximately £250m will be staked on the main event. The Grand National is expected to generate £3m in tax revenues for the Treasury and £2m in horse racing levy to support the sport.

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