Rishi Sunak, give business a long-term Covid plan now

The £4.6bn support package is welcome but firms need clarity long before the March budget

Thanks for the latest £4.6bn support package, chancellor, but when will you be serving the main course? That was the gist of the business world’s response to Rishi Sunak’s announcement of grants for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. One could call the reply churlish, but companies’ demand for clarity – and soon – is entirely fair.

Decisions on jobs and investment for the spring are being made now. If Sunak intends to extend the business rates holiday beyond March, or the furlough scheme beyond April, he needs to hurry up and make the announcement.

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No need for Entain to rush into accepting MGM Resorts offer | Nils Pratley

Owner of Ladbrokes and Coral right to take a wait-and-see approach ahead of US online betting bonanza

It feels surprising that the big beasts of the US gambling scene, Las Vegas casino companies, are such digital dunces that they require UK-listed companies to tell them how to run an online betting business. But a pattern has been established. Slick back-office technology, proved over years in Europe, is seen as critical to cracking the liberalising US betting market.

Caesars Entertainment last year agreed a £2.9bn purchase of William Hill. US money is flowing into Flutter Entertainment, owner of PaddyPower and Betfair. Now MGM Resorts has bid £8.1bn for Entain, as GVC, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, calls itself these days.

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