As the Grand National unfolded at Aintree last Saturday, it wasn't just the thundering hooves and breathtaking jumps that captured the nation's attention. Behind this historic Steeplechase lies a fascinating tale of recreational betting, where casual punters take centre stage.

The data.

In 2024, this iconic race amassed a staggering 700% more bets than its closest rival, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. According to data from our UK sportsbook, the Grand National reigns supreme as the odds-on favourite for casual punters across the UK.

  • Small Bets, Big Thrills: A whopping 82% of cash bets made on the Grand National were £5 or less, emphasising the trend of modest stakes among casual punters. In fact, less than 1% of bets exceeded £20.
  • Inclusive Turnover: Nearly 50% of turnover on the Grand National originated from bets of £5 or less, showcasing the broad participation of horse racing enthusiasts. This contrasts with just over 30% for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
  • First-Time Excitement: The Grand National serves as a gateway for newcomers to the world of sports betting, with 30% of participants either making their first sports bet, depositing for the first time, or returning after a break since the previous year's race. It's a testament to the race's ability to engage and attract a fresh audience.

Despite the relatively modest stake sizes, the Grand National punches above its weight in terms of total stakes, rivalling some of the biggest sporting events of the year. The Grand National held its ground and racked up as much in stakes as the biggest sporting events in the last 12 months. These include (in order): the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champions League Final, US Masters, and the FA Cup Final, proving that casual punters wield significant influence in the realm of sports betting.

Without a doubt, the Grand National is the greatest sporting event in the UK. It captures the imagination of friends and families up and down our high streets and online. I Am Maximus jumped his way to victory this year, and seeing the joy and excitement on our customers faces is what this race is all about. Congratulations to all of you that picked this year’s winner.

Simon Clare

Director of Consumer PR at Entain

Understanding the pull for recreational customers.

Rich tradition and heritage 

The Grand National isn't just a horse race, it's a cultural institution with a storied history dating back to 1839. Its iconic status and deep-rooted traditions capture the imagination of casual punters, who are drawn to the event's heritage. From the famous Aintree Racecourse to legendary horses and jockeys, the Grand National evokes a sense of nostalgia and reverence that resonates with the nation.

A social, shared experience 

One of the most compelling aspects of the Grand National is its ability to bring people together. Whether it's gathering with friends at home or joining online communities to discuss race predictions, the event fosters a sense of camaraderie and shared excitement. For casual punters, the opportunity to engage in friendly sweep stakes, swap tips, and celebrate victories enhances the overall experience, transforming a solitary activity into a social occasion.

Thrills and unpredictability 

The Grand National is renowned for its unpredictability, with its challenging course and formidable obstacles often leading to unexpected outcomes. For casual punters, the element of unpredictability adds to the thrill of betting, creating an adrenaline-fueled experience unlike any other. Whether it's cheering for an underdog or witnessing a nail-biting finish, the Grand National offers moments of excitement and drama that keep punters coming back year after year.


The Grand National offers a low barrier to entry. With the availability of small stakes and a wide range of betting options, even those with limited betting budgets can join in the excitement. This accessibility ensures that casual punters from all walks of life can participate, democratising the betting experience.

Inclusivity and participation 

The Grand National welcomes participants of all levels of expertise. From seasoned punters to first-time bettors, everyone is encouraged to join in the fun. This inclusivity fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment among customers, who feel valued and respected within the betting community.