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Trading gossip.

*IT SEEMS people eager to be parted from their hard-earned moolah will take a punt on anything, and the latest news from betting group Paddy Power seems to reinforce the view.

They're running a book on which airline is likely to go bust next, and anyone booked on Monarch should look away now, after the charter operator dived from 50/1 to 4/1 favourite.

Paddy Power said: "Punters seemed to have latched on to Monarch in a pattern which echoes betting patterns in the immediate run-up to the demise of XL Airways in September last year."

In contrast, Ryanair, whose flamboyant boss, Michael O'Leary, is constantly predicting doom and gloom for his rivals, seems fairly safe hovering at 80/1, the same odds as Liverpool JLA's biggest operator by passenger numbers Easyjet.

And just to show that punters, if nothing, certainly own a sense of humour, the safest "airline" in the cutthroat aviation world, sitting pretty at 1,000/1, is deemed Air Force One, the US President's, below, official mode of air transport!

*WHILE we're on the subject of the gaming industry, Walton-based pools and online betting group Sportech's e-Christmas card may not have spread goodwill to all concerned when it dropped into in-boxes on the run-up to the festive season recently.

Now the major player in the football pools business, having snapped up industry rivals Vernons and Zetters, its Ho Ho Ho greeting contained one glaring omission - and confirmation of the demise of a familiar name among generations of the nation's pin-stickers in their quest for the perfect pools prediction.

Prominent in chief executive Ian Penrose's festive greeting was, of course, Littlewoods and Vernons, and even Littlewoods Poker, Littlewoods Casino and Littlewoods Bingo - but sadly no sign of Zetters which, we assume, has now gone to that great coupon repository in the sky.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 30, 2009
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