The biggest horse racing event of the year, The Grand National was set to take place this Saturday, April 4th. Unfortunately, like every other major sporting event this year, it was cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. However, a virtual Grand National race has been announced to run in its place, with bookmakers offering to donate all profits to the NHS.
The virtual horserace is going to take place at 17:00 live on ITV this Saturday and will feature digital recreations of 40 real horses. These include former Grand National champion, Red Rum and two-year running winner, Tiger Roll.
This isn’t the first virtual Grand National, the tradition actually began in 2017 and has run annually since then. This is the first time that the event is being treated as the main race though as this is the first year without a Grand National race since 1946.
Organisers will use CGI to render the race and a special algorithm to determine the horses positions and, ultimately, who will be the winner. The race’s results will generated using real stats, which in the past have proved to be surprisingly accurate. Past virtual races, which take place before the main event, have predicted some of the top horses from their respective year’s Grand National in the past, even forecasting Tiger Roll’s 2018 win.
Sports betting sites will be offering odds on the race, which means those who were looking forward to betting on the horses won’t have to look elsewhere now the other sports events are all cancelled due to Coronavirus. There will however be a £10 stake limit per horse per customer, meaning high rollers will have to settle on betting on the eSports events that bookmakers are offering odds on right now.
The event is also likely to attract the wider public too as the profits made from the event are all being donated to NHS Charities Together! This collective of charities supports the workers of the NHS, who right now are working tirelessly and thanklessly in supporting the thousands of people currently affected by COVID-19 in hospitals around the country.
The Grand National is one of the biggest betting days of the year in the UK, with hundreds of millions of pounds generated by the event annually. This extra boost of money for NHS charities is exactly what the country needs right now.
Virtual versions of our usual activities are becoming increasingly popular; video calls are replacing work meetings and social hangouts, and even DJs are switching to livestreams with all their upcoming shows cancelled. Livestreaming has proved very successful for Bongo’s Bingo, who live-streamed a bingo night for the whole of the UK a few weeks ago.
If you’re interested in hosting a live virtual bingo night with friends, we have a handy guide that can tell you exactly how you can set it up and start socialising while playing online bingo.
Max has written news & content online for nearly 10 years. As the editor of Online Bingo, Max is writing and editing the site's gambling content and also writes video games content for LootPots.
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