Simon English: Is Ladbrokes chief on a loser as he makes a deal to woo internet punters?

Outlook. Plus: Don't let Paulson hedge bets on Puerto Rico; And here is the news as Buik bows out

Last week Ralph Topping raised a few eyebrows among gamblers in the City and elsewhere when he predicted that William Hill could be worth £5bn before too long.

Chief executives are paid to be bullish, or think they are, but from a present market value of less than £3bn that's a sizeable punt forward.

His belief that the rise in mobile phone betting has much further to go was aped yesterday by rival Ladbrokes, which struck a deal with Hill's erstwhile online partner Playtech.

On one hand the deal is a coup for Ladbrokes' Richard Glynn, who joined the company three years ago with a brief to rescue its sputtering internet effort.

Playtech is widely seen as one of the smartest players in the sector, not least due to the reputation of its founder, the Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi.

Mr Glynn has already largely fixed the Ladbrokes shops, but is still well off the pace on the internet.

Its customers spend less money and less time on its websites than do rivals'.

So maybe Mr Glynn, after several false starts, is on the way to cracking it, though the terms aren't all in his favour.

One gambling observer put it like this: If you do a deal with Teddy Sagi, he got the better side of it.

Don't let Paulson hedge bets on Puerto Rico

Banker fails humility test, episode 987.

John Paulson, the US hedge fund king who made $15bn (£10bn) for his fund by cleverly betting that the subprime mortgage market was an absurd bubble, is said to be so annoyed at the taxes he has to pay for the privilege of living in Manhattan that he may move to Puerto Rico.

Now, there's nothing remotely wrong with betting that things will fall rather than rise – it's part of how markets work, and those subprime deals would have failed whether he had bet on them or not.

Still, he profited from other people's lives becoming a disaster, even if he didn't personally increase their misery.

In mortals, that might prompt pause for thought. Some soul-searching. A feeling that it might be good to, you know, give a bit back.

Instead Mr Paulson has been checking out Puerto Rico's real estate so he can eliminate taxes on his hedge fund gains by taking advantage of generous local tax laws, reports Bloomberg.

New York should tell Mr Paulson he's welcome to leave on the proviso that he never returns, just to see how serious he is about this.

There's a reason why Puerto Rico has to offer such tax deals – it is, shall we say, far from the loveliest of Caribbean islands. A place to visit, at best, rather than to live.

In the UK, the equivalent example sees some of our big shots occasionally threatening to take their money and depart to the Isle of Man, which has a top tax rate of 20 per cent.

You only have to go there once to get the feeling that the suicide rate must be about the same.

And here is the news as Buik bows out

For broadcasters looking for a City voice to enliven their coverage of what the stock market did today, or to defend what evil bankers got up to yesterday, David Buik has been the go-to-guy since God was a young boy (so it seems).

For print reporters desperately in need of similar, the same rule applied. If in doubt, or in a tight spot, phone the Buik hotline. He would come up with the goods and right quick.

Yesterday the old-time sage of the City announced that he would be moving on from Cantor Index, not bothering with the usual guff about wanting to spend more time with his family. He was made redundant, and said so.

If at times his commentary was verbose or even (ahem) a little right-leaning, politically speaking, that was part of the fun.

You didn't have to agree with him.

Beyond looking like Mr Pinstripe on the One O'Clock News (and the six and the ten), Buik performed other valuable roles, as lunch companion and confidante to financial hacks who may be in danger of taking themselves too seriously. Told a tale of woe about how awful life was, 50 years of experience at the sharp end of the City would be summoned and the gentlest word offered as the wine glass was refilled : Have a word with yourself, son.

Now he's gone, at least temporarily, a gaping hole in the market opens up. The good news is that the best person to fill it remains available for hire. After a well-deserved break, we trust.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little