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Betfred to axe 4,500 jobs after FOBT stake cut

Betfred to axe 4,500 jobs after FOBT stake cut

Business
The bookmaker which owns The Tote will axe more than 4,500 jobs if the Government implements plans to slash maximum stakes on gambling machines to just £2. Sky News has learnt that Betfred has told ministers that almost 900 of its shops - more than half its UK estate - will become loss-making overnight if they press ahead with reforms to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).In a letter to members of the home affairs sub-committee, Mark Stebbings, Betfred's managing director, warned that "much upset and heartache will go into having to make…redundant" close to 4,500 people who work in the potentially loss-making betting shops.Sources said that several hundred staff at the company's Warrington headquarters were also likely to be made redundant if the £2 move ...
Colao to step down from Vodafone after 10 years in charge

Colao to step down from Vodafone after 10 years in charge

Business
Vodafone's chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down on October 1 after more than 10 years in charge of the world's second-largest mobile phone company. Nick Read, group chief financial officer, who will become chief executive designate from July 27, will replace Mr Colao.Under Mr Colao's tenure, Vodafone sold its joint venture with Verizon for $ 130bn and merged its business in India with Idea Cellular.Last week, Vodafone agreed to buy Liberty Global's cable operations in four European countries for £16.1bn as the mobile phone operator extends its reach to 110 million homes and businesses by offering fixed-line and TV services.Vodafone group chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said: "I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure."He has ...
US ruling opens way for states-wide sports betting

US ruling opens way for states-wide sports betting

Business
The US Supreme Court has made a landmark ruling that could allow states across the country to legalise sports betting.It has endorsed a 2014 state ruling in New Jersey which permits sports betting in casinos and at horse racing tracks.The court also struck down a 1992 federal law banning sports gambling.The news sent the share prices of gambling stocks in the US and UK surging, including Britain's William Hill and Paddy Power.Several major US sports bodies had opposed the move, including the National Basketball Association.The National Collegiate Athletic Association said it was a threat to the "integrity of athletic competition".However, Justice Samuel Alito wrote on behalf of the Supreme Court: "The legalisation of sports gambling requires an important ...
Abu Dhabi commits billions to expand its refining capacity

Abu Dhabi commits billions to expand its refining capacity

Business
May 14 (UPI) -- More than $ 45 billion in investments over the next five years could position the United Arab Emirates as a global refining powerhouse, its oil company said. "Given the projected increase in demand for petrochemicals and higher value refined products, we are repositioning ADNOC to become a leading global downstream player," Ahmed al-Jaber, the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and the Emirati minister of state, said in a statement. ADNOC said it would spend $ 45 billion over the next five years to expand its refining and petrochemicals operations at al-Ruwais, a city in western Abu Dhabi. ADNOC and its subsidiaries process 10.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day and has a refining capacity of 922,000 barrels per day. By 2025, the company said it would expand it...
Jim Ratcliffe: Turning cast-offs into gold

Jim Ratcliffe: Turning cast-offs into gold

Business
Jim Ratcliffe may once have been called Dr No by trade unions for his tough negotiating stance, but the UK's richest man champions the unloved.Through buying up and turning around the cast-off parts of big business, the Mancunian has made his £21bn fortune.From operations once owned by the likes of oil giant BP, Mr Ratcliffe has created a company whose chemicals and raw materials go into nearly everything we touch everyday. And it only took him 20 years to do it.Mr Ratcliffe, 65, has always been involved in chemicals and industry.After graduating with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Birmingham in 1974, he spent a very brief spell at BP before jumping to rival oil business Esso as a trainee accountant. Son of a joiner becomes...