Business Diary: If at first you do succeed, bet again...

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The Independent Online

Ralph Topping, William Hill's chief executive, has a charmingly honest explanation for how the bookie has managed to weather the storm of too few draws in the Premier League (punters tend to back wins) better than its rival Labroke's. "Encouraging levels of recycling in retail," he explains. In other words, the bookie managed to persuade its customers to reinvest their winnings on losing bets.

. ..but don't gamble your TV subscription

Still on gambling, customers of the broadcaster Sky are able to place bets using its interactive services. Yesterday, Sky got in touch with its punters with an email to promote "responsible gambling awareness day". As Sky itself says, "it matters more where there's money on it".

Is Wolfson next on the Tories' list?

A list leaked to PR Week magazine of 20 possible candidates for peerages should the Conservatives win the next election includes a number of leading business figures, ranging from the Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose to the Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross. But why no place for Simon Wolfson, right, the Next chief executive and the business community's cheerleader-in-chief for the Tories? If he has been forgotten, Mr Wolfson is entitled to feel peeved, given the stick that he has given the Government.

Sky man's wish is the Guardian's command

Sky News's newly appointed business editor, Mark Kleinman, must have been pleased with the flattering interview published in The Guardian's media section yesterday. And why shouldn't he enjoy the fruits of his labour – after all, it was Sky's wannabe Robert Peston himself who suggested the paper should interview him. So when they did ask, he was happy to oblige.

Roman Abramovich: Business Diary's short article on Saturday speculated that Roman Abramovich might have been the mystery buyer of a $310m collection of Mark Rothko artwork that was sold last year. Mr Abramovich's spokesman has been in touch to say that is not the case.

Number of the day


Zenith's projection for growth in online ad spending this year, down from its last forecast of a 2.3 per cent rise.