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

Echelon clients bring lawsuit against IG

IG Group, the spread betting company, has been slapped with a €25m (£21m) lawsuit over the collapse of a Scottish wealth manager two years ago.

'In play' gaming boosts Sportingbet

Sportingbet said the increased popularity of betting on live sporting events helped drive revenues 27 per cent higher in the year to 31 July. The online gaming group said such "in play" gaming accounted for 61 per cent of its core sports betting business in the past year, up from 56 per cent in 2009.

Sportingbet pays $33m to avoid charges in the US

Sportingbet, the online gambling company which sponsors the Premiership's Wolverhampton Wanderers, has agreed to pay $33m (£21m) to avoid charges in the US, where it operated illegally for almost a decade.

Small Talk: WorldSpreads takes a gamble to boost business

'When you go into Tesco, you don't just buy a loaf of bread and a pint of milk, do you?" asks Conor Foley, the chief executive of WorldSpreads, the Alternative Investment Market (Aim)-listed financial spread-betting group. Indeed not. And Mr Foley is hoping that the same philosophy applies to his industry after last week announcing that his group would be offering punters a zero-spreads option on some of its most popular markets.

Investment Column: Shaftesbury sees life on the sunny side

Sportingbet; Findel

World Cup sees online poker dip

The internet gambling operator PartyGaming said its online casino business had continued to drive strong growth, helping to offset the impact of a slump in poker players during the football World Cup.

IG cashes in on uncertainty

The spread betting company IG Group forecast a 25 per cent leap in profits this year after recent stock market turbulence boosted business.

Business Diary: 29/05/2010

Bonus counsel from Kerviel

Some very helpful advice from eFinancialCareers, the online employment site for the City.

IG chief gives up rise despite big increase in profits

The boss of Britain's biggest spread-betting company plans to forgo his impending pay rise despite the company reporting a 30 per cent surge in pre-tax profits before one-offs. IG's chief executive, Tim Howkins, said he would forgo the rise as "it didn't seem right to be taking one at this time".

Parry vows to get tough on corruption with new task-force

As suspicious betting patterns cast a cloud over Wimbledon, Rick Parry, the outgoing chief executive of Liverpool FC, was yesterday appointed as the chairman of a new "anti- corruption" panel set up by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe. The panel's job is to assess the threat of betting-related corruption in British sport and recommend ways to combat it.

Aintree makes sombre start

Exotic Dancer one of two horses to die on opening day as Denman is also a faller

Tim Lamb: This corrosive influence must be stopped

Match-fixing and corrupt sports betting is cheating at its worst, often perpetrated by people whom you should suspect the least. It is corrosive in all levels of sport and that is why the sporting community takes it so seriously. From the spectator to the social player, from the punter to the professional, the damage it causes is inestimable.

Car Choice: You don’t have to look far for a fun and practical roadster

David Hughes wrote a simple email, which read: Daihatsu Copen, Smart Roadster or Ford Streetka? Further prodding revealed that he owns a Mazda MX5, but now wants better fuel economy, reliability, build integrity and the obvious fun factor. He is considering models over five years old for £5,000 or so.

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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz