News Mike Ashley has mellowed in recent years, so his stake in Debenhams surprised the City

The Sports Direct tycoon is well known for keeping rivals guessing. Simon Neville attempts to unravel his stakebuilding plan for Debenhams

Market Report: Betfair on a winner with German licence award

Jackpot. Betfair was celebrating a big win yesterday after the betting firm was awarded one of the first licences for online gambling in Germany. With Europe increasingly regulating internet gambling, fears that it may struggle to win licences have weighed on the stock and, as a result, the sense of relief was palpable as Betfair jumped 45p to 839.5p.

Sportingbet is game for another flutter in the US

Sportingbet, the online bookie is "reviewing re-entering" the US market today after paying its last fine relating to its former activities in the world's biggest economy.

Sportingbet game for a winner with US return

Sportingbet, the online bookie is "reviewing re-entering" the US market today after paying its last fine relating to its former activities in the world's biggest economy.

Simon English: WorldSpreads should open the book on Foley

Outlook: WorldSpreads should open the book on Foley

Ladbrokes boss to overhaul brand

Ladbrokes boss Richard Glynn has pledged to "reinvigorate" the brand of one of Britain's best-known bookies. Mr Glynn's promise came as the company reported first-half profits of £78.1m. That was down from £114.7m but excluding volatile earnings from high rollers and one-offs, operating profit came in at £97.6m, down from £103.6m last year, when the World Cup boosted earnings. The dividend was up 1.3 per cent at 3.9p.

Spread betting: Man and Compass could yield a dividend deal

Greece will yet again be the word this week as traders wait anxiously for some much-needed clarity about the situation. If the austerity package is eventually accepted by the IMF and EU, the market is set to rally as we move closer to resolving the debt problems.

Day trader hits back at FSA after £1m fine reduced

The offending scheme involved small early-morning orders to dictate the prices offered by spread-betting companies

Betfred wins £265m Tote auction

Veteran bookmaker Fred Done secured horseracing's ultimate prize today by agreeing a £265 million deal to buy the Tote from the Government.

Delay forced in Tote sale decision

A decision over the sale of the Tote is believed to have been delayed as a result of concerns over European state aid laws.

Betfred eyes deal for Tote

The bookmaker Betfred is talking to racecourse groups over setting up a new Tote racing development board. Betfred is vying with Sports Investment Partners (SIP), headed by British Airway's chairman Sir Martin Broughton, to buy the state-owned betting business.

GDP and long weekend give a shorting chance

The best punt of the week could come on Friday when traders are likely to wind down their positions ahead of the long weekend. Going short on the Footsie could yield a decent return, though you need to keep a weather eye on other factors affecting the index.

David Prosser: The Tote race is now too close to call

Outlook Sir Martin Broughton is lining up the ducks as he battles to be allowed to buy the Tote from the Government. Having secured the support of the racing industry ahead of Betfred, his only rival for the Tote, Sir Martin yesterday revealed that his offer is now 100 per cent underwritten by the private equity group Oakley Capital. That answers those who wondered whether he could put his money where his mouth is.

Michael Kim: An insight into American sports betting

Michael Kim speaks with Las Vegas betting expert Chuck Esposito about the wealth of sporting action the public is taking a punt on in America.

Gala Coral and Betfred clear Tote's first fence

Six parties have made it through to second-round bids for the Tote, the state-owned bookmaker which has been put up for sale.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried