Do I have to work over Easter and can I get paid more if I work the bank holidays?

EASTER is coming up and while this means there are two bank holidays on the cards, some of us will inevitably have to work through these.


This year Easter falls on Sunday April 21 with the Good Friday bank holiday falling on April 19 and the Easter Monday bank holiday falling on April 22.


Sadly workers aren’t automatically guaranteed bank holidays off work


But can your boss make you work on bank holidays and if they do can you get extra pay? We round-up your rights.


Do I have to work on Good Friday and Easter Monday?


Sadly, according to the Government, which sets bank holidays, there is no automatic right for workers to have bank holidays off as paid leave – and that includes Good Friday and Easter Monday.


Whether you have to work is entirely up to your employer and the contract you agreed with them.



Easter eggs on supermarket shelves

How to resolve a problem with your employer




IF you’ve got an issue with your employer, here is Citizens Advice on how to deal with it.


Step 1: speak to your employer


Try having an informal chat with your employer or HR department. Explain your concerns and try to resolve the issue.


Step 2: raise a grievance


Check if your employer has a formal grievance procedure you can use. Even if they haven’t, you can still raise a grievance – for example by writing a letter.


You could say something like: “My contract states my rights regarding bank holiday working. You have breached these terms.”


Check if your employer has a trade union as it may be able to help.


Step 3: get advice


If your employer doesn’t respond, or they do but it’s not the response you wanted, you should contact your local Citizens Advice. They’ll be able to advise you on what to do next – for example, whether you can take your case to an employment tribunal.




Some employers will choose to include bank holidays as part of their staff’s statutory annual leave or they may say staff get the days off on top of their statutory annual leave.


Others will give staff a day off in lieu in return for working a bank holiday.
It all depends on the holiday allowance your employer gives you.


According to the Government, almost all employees working five days a week are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year – the equivalent of 28 days.



Can I get extra pay for working on Good Friday and Easter Monday?


Because there’s no automatic right not to work on public holidays, it also means it’s entirely up to employers whether you get a boost to your pay when you do have to come in.


If you’re unsure what your work’s policy is, check your contract or speak directly to your employer.


Some employers will give staff double pay or “time and a half” their usual day rate.




When are the Bank Holiday Dates in 2019?




HERE is the full list of 2019 bank holidays below:


1 January – New Year’s Day


2 January – 2 January (Scotland only)


17 March – St Patrick’s Day (Northern Ireland only)


19 April – Good Friday


22 April – Easter Monday


6 May – May Day


27 May – Spring bank holiday


12 July – Battle of the Boyne/ Orangemen’s Day (Northern Ireland only)


5 August – Summer bank holiday (Scotland only)


26 August – Summer bank holiday


25 December – Christmas Day


26 December Boxing Day




What if I can’t work because of religious reasons?


If you’re told you can’t take a day’s annual leave because of religious reasons, you may have a claim for indirect religious discrimination, according to Hannah Parsons, legal advice manager of DAS Law.


This would happen if your employer fails to grant you annual leave and you can point to other workers not receiving the same discrimination based on their religion.



How Brit dad-of-one converted an old American school bus worth £20k into a restaurant – and it now makes £400K a year

DAD-of-one Mark turned his love of a good barbecue into a business idea – and now his US-inspired food truck turns over £400,000 a year.

The 36-year-old bought a converted yellow 1982 school bus back in 2016 for £21,500, before finding a smoker, oven and fridge.

Mark Failey, from Oldham used a £24,000 loan to convert a 1982 Bluebird International American-style school bus into a kitchen

He used a £24,000 loan from government-backed Start-Up Loans to fund his new business.

But for Mark, it was about turning his passion for BBQ into reality.

The former steelworker from Oldham told The Sun: “Some people like to play football to relax on Sundays.

“For me the best way to make the most of my day is to get a barbecue on the go. I find it very peaceful and it’s always been a passion of mine.

He converted the bus into a mobile kitchen, before opening a restaurant this year

The restaurant has a seating capacity of 100 people

Mark has always been fascinated by American food and culture

“At some point I was very unhappy at work, doing long shifts through the night and it felt like the moment to take the leap.”

From the very start, the menu of the Old School Bus, based in Oldham, included popular street foods with an American twist.

Think dishes like six-hour smoked Texas-style belly ribs and chicken cooked in a traditional slow smoked Southern BBQ style.

After a year his business got so popular, Mark couldn’t cope with demand.

How to get a start-up business loan

IF you need financial support in setting up your business, you can get loans of up to £25,000 to help along the way.


  • Vrigin StartUP offers government-backed loans from £500 to £25,000 to help entrepreneurs launching or growing a business that’s under two-years-old in England or Scotland. It has a rate of 6 per cent interest.
  • The Start-Up Loans Company, which lends government subsidised loans up to £25,000 at a rate of 6 per cent.
  • The Princes Trust also offers loans, up to £5,000, at a rate of 6.2 per cent.

Queues of up to 40 people would build-up in front of his van prompting him to look for a permanent space and staff.

What started like mobile kitchen became a proper restaurant with a seating capacity of 100 people in the beginning of the year.

Mark now employs a total of 18 people and some of his recipes were recently featured in the Manchester Cook Book, next to 55 dishes from a host of the city’s top restaurants.

The bar is now stocked with bourbon whiskey and some potent South Carolina Palmetto Moonshire

Based in Southern tradition, Palmetto Distillery crafts premium whiskey and moonshine with age-old recipes and a copper still

Mark’s idea was to bring a bit of Texas into the UK

This year The Old School Bus was also selected as one of the businesses to represent the North West region, as part of the Small Biz 100 campaign, which encourages the nation to “shop local”.

By its first year, the Old School Bus had an annual turnover of £75,000 but the father-of-one believes that it should hit the £400,000 mark at the end 2018.

The iconic American-style bus is still there but the restaurant also has an outdoor pit area, where Mark and his staff can prepare the food.

As well as his grilled meats, the bar is now stocked with bourbon whiskey and some potent South Carolina Palmetto Moonshire.

Some of the dishes are prepared in the American-style school bus

The Old School Bus offers popular street food with an American twist

The Old School Bus was featured in the Manchester Cook Book with a host of the city’s top restaurants

Prices range from £9.93 for a portion of BBQ wings to £10.95 for a burger. There’s also a kids’ menu with prices starting at £4.95.

The most expensive item is a feast for meat-lovers also known as “The Steak of Texas”, which will set you back  £26.95.

The dish is a massive 30oz steak burger served on a corn roll with eight smoked streaky bacon rashers, four Monterey Jack cheese slices and seasoned fries.


Of course, having your own business is not always an easy ride.

Mark added: “You need to be prepared to do the hours – it can be very very demanding.

“I have to wake up as early as 4am to start cooking, so my family time is reduced.

“Between my family, my team and my customers it’s hard to keep everyone happy sometimes. I can’t remember the last time I had a proper break.”

Mark is planning to open a drive-in cinema next year

But the long hours haven’t stopped him from taking on more work.

Next year, the dad-of-one, is planning to buy an additional piece of land to open a drive-in cinema.

He is also working on a cook book of his own with 150 new recipes, which will be published in 2019.

He said:”It can be hard. All my Fridays and Saturdays are booked with work but it’s also very rewarding to see the results.

“The best thing is, I’ve created a family and a good working environment for my team.

“It’s nice to feel passionate about my job again and work with fantastic people.Entrepreneur, 20, started online property company while studying for his A-levels and now its worth £18million

Earlier this month, we revealed how a mum-of-two’s quest to spend more time with her kids is now a £55k flower business – and she started it with just £1.300.

The Sun also spoke to a dad-of-two who quit banking job to set up children’s hairdressers and it makes £650,000 a year.

Dreaming of setting up a business of your own?  This entrepreneur founded his online estate agent agency at the age of 17 – and it’s now worth £18million.

Skinnydip London

How three mates started £15million phone case giant Skinnydip with £10k borrowed off friends and family

WANDERING around an Apple store in 2010 Lewis Blitz had an idea that turned into a business with a £15million turnover.


The then 22-year-old couldn’t understand why there were ten companies selling black or white phone cases while there was nothing bright or fun.


James, Lewis and Richard started Skinnydip when they were in their 20’s


He called up two of his mates who happened to be brothers – Richard and James Gold, aged 21 and 23 at the time, and sold them the idea to start Skinnydip London.


At the time the lads had all recently graduated from university and took a chance on starting the business selling phone covers with quirky and fun designs on them as no-one else was doing it.


“We thought we’d give it a go at selling phone cases into fashion retailers and if it didn’t work, we’d get proper jobs,” James, now 32, who lives in North London, told The Sun.


“At that time, if you wanted to get a case or headphones, you’d have to go to the traditional kind of tech retailers,” Lewis said.


“And we were thinking that the 18-25-year-old fashion-conscious girl, she’s not going to those places.”


Skinnydip London
Skinnydip has around 4,500 unique products each year and they can be found in every single Topshop store


They rented an office in Wembley and bought desks and phones and started cold calling retailers.


James added: “We were literally just cold-calling everyone from the office we rented in Wembley.”


“There were three of us, three desks and three phones.


“I remember making calls from 9am to 11am – and by 11am we’d been rejected by everyone.”


But then they had their first break. High street fashion chain River Island, which has around 250 shops across the UK, agreed to a meeting and they put in an order for 20,000.




Tips from the successful trio




KEEN to be your own boss? Here are some tips from the trio on how to make it happen.


    • Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you launch: It’s important to go for it early and not waste a lot of time. A lot of people think you need to perfect every single aspect before you launch and for us, it was just about trying to get out to market and learn as we go. So that’s really proven to be a great way for us and model of how to start a business, said Lewis


    • Find good business partners: It’s also key to find good business partners. You should partner with people who have different skills compared to you, because different skills sets mean that you can do different things, said Richard


    • Don’t be afraid of failure: A lot of people are really nervous about setting up a business in the fear that it doesn’t work out and the repercussions of what other people may think of that. I think that if you can go with the feeling that ‘if it works, brilliant, but if it doesn’t, I’ll dust myself up, pick myself up and do something else’, that’s great, said James


    • Do what makes you happy: In the eight years of running Skinnydip, I’ve never felt like I’ve worked a day in my life. I never have the Sunday night feeling, I love what I’m doing and I love who I work with. And I think if you could something that makes you happy, you’re normally good at it and if you’re good at it, then hopefully success comes on that, James added

Skinnydip London house




Although, there was one big problem. They didn’t have the money to produce the order so they had to beg their friends and family for cash.


The three North London born lads raided their savings accounts and scraped together the £10,000 they needed and once their first order was completed it was a lot easier to sell into other brands.


At the time they all lived at home with their families rent-free and were only able to pay themselves a salary of £18,000 each two and half years after starting the business.


They used whatever profit they made to re-invest into the business and after two years they were able to hire their first member of staff.


Skinnydip London
Skinnydip sells phone cases in all colours and patterns


The name of the business takes inspiration from brand titles such as Virgin, which has no relevance to its products, they said.


“We wanted to portray Skinnydip as being young, fun, free with no limits!”


The three founders now employ over 250 people worldwide, with around 70 staff members at its London headquarters.


This is exciting, but also a big pressure, they said.


“We have a lot of people that work for Skinnydip, whose monthly salary is reliant on the performance of the business and that’s a really serious responsibility to take on.


“Therefore, we have to constantly think about the impact our decisions can have on all the people in the company and looking out for their interests.”














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King Kylie with her custom Skinnydip case 👊✨@kyliejenner #skinnydiplondon #kyliejenner #goals


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Since starting they have moved on from just phone cases and now have around 4,500 unique products each year, including handbags, clutch bags, sunglasses, jewellery and beauty.


Their products are in 200 concessions worldwide, including every single Topshop, as well as in its 15 own Skinnydip stores.


It’s not clear how big of a market share the business has grown to, but the trio claims it’s the largest seller of phone cases on social media with over 500,000 followers only on Instagram.


It has collaborated with celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and others including Bella Thorne, Miley Cyrus and members from Little Mix have also been spotted toting its wares.


Skinnydip London
The trio currently employs around 350 people


Last year it was also crowned one of the top startups to work for by LinkedIn.


Yet they haven’t let the success get to their heads.


“We’ve always been really ambitious, but we’ve also looked at things in terms of realistic targets.


“We still feel there is so much more Skinnydip can do that we don’t really look at it as such a success, rather a work in progress.”



Want to start your own business but could do with even more inspiration?


Last month, a 23-year old entrepreneur revealed how he started a million-pound video business with just £50 after his parents lost £150k in the Northern Rock crisis.


Recently, we also spoke with a dad-of-two launched beer made of leftover bread – and the company now turns over £1million a year.


And we’ve also chatted with Blackpool man Lee White, who went from working as an apprentice to running his own business with a turnover of around £1.4million each year.

Wetherspoon is selling 16 of its pubs – is your local one of them?

WETHERSPOON has called time on 16 of its pubs across the country hoping to flog them to a new owner.

The affected pubs include 14 Wetherspoon branded pubs and two of the chain’s Lloyds bars.

Map of Wethspoon pubs up for sale
Wetherspoon has put 16 pubs up for sale, including two Lloyds bars

They range from the Alexander Bain pub in Wick, Scotland to the Queens Hotel in Newport, Wales to the Isaac Merritt in Paignton, Devon.

While the pubs are up for sale they’re still open for orders as normal but they will be pulled from the Wetherspoon brand if they’re sold.

Wetherspoon wouldn’t tell us if it has any potential buyers lined up or why it’s chosen to flog these 16 outlets.

But we can only assume the pubs are among the chain’s least profitable.

Which Wetherspoon pubs are up for sale?

HERE’S a full list of the Wetherspoon pubs and Lloyds bars up for sale:

  • Chapel an Gansblydhen, Bodmin, Cornwall (Lloyds)
  • Brun Lea, Burnley, Lancashire (Lloyds)
  • Vulcan, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire
  • Time Piece, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
  • Bourtree, Hawick, Scottish Borders
  • Last Plantagenet, Leicester, East Midlands
  • Queens Hotel, Newport, Wales
  • Isaac Merritt, Paignton, Devon
  • The Cross Keys, Peebles, Scottish Borders
  • St George’s Hall, Redfield, Bristol
  • Pennsylvanian, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
  • Rhinoceros, Rotherham, South Yorkshire
  • Butler’s Bell, Stafford, Staffordshire
  • Friar Penketh, Warrington, Cheshire
  • Dee Hotel, West Kirkby, Merseyside
  • Alexander Bain, Wick, Caithness

More than 11,000 pubs have closed in the UK in the last decade, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics – a fall of almost a quarter (23 per cent).

As of December 2018, there were around 39,000 pubs left down from about 50,000 in 2008.

Wetherspoon reported pre-tax profits of £50.3million for the six months to January 27 in its latest trading results.

But that was down 19 per cent compared to the £62million the chain made over the same period last year.

The drop in profits was largely blamed on having to shell out more in staff wages.

Tim Martin, chairman of the pub chain recently said a No Deal Brexit would lead to lower drink and food prices.

But the budget boozer has come under fire after The Sun found it had hiked food and drink prices for the fifth time in two years.

We also reveal the most expensive Wetherspoon to a buy burger and beer deal – and it’s not in London.

Mothercare to shut 60 stores by June next year

MOTHERCARE has announced it will shut 60 stores, leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The struggling mother and baby products retailer had already announced it would shut around 50 shops in May, but it confirmed 10 more are up for the chop in an update today. 

Struggling mother and baby products retailer Mothercare announced it will shut 60 stores by June 2019

The latest store closures mean a total of 60 Mothercare stores will shut by June next year, putting 900 jobs at risk overall.

Mothercare said it was putting its Childrens World division into administration, but that 13 of these 22 stores would be saved.

The changes come after it cleared a so-called Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), an insolvency procedure that required the approval of the retailer’s landlords.

The struggling retailer said it’s now planning to raise £32.5million of emergency funding from investors.

It has identified savings of £19 million through the process, and hopes to realise £10 million in cash.

Clive Whiley, Mothercare’s interim executive chairman, said: “The last three months of hard work and progress have put in place the foundations to get Mothercare back to where it should be as a fit-for-purpose business with a stronger and more efficient structure both for our UK business and our international franchisees.”

It is the latest High Street favourite forced to close stores in recent months with Poundworld facing administration and House of Fraser axing more than half of its stores, resulting in up to 6,000 job losses.

It follows similar moves taken by New Look and Carpetright, which are expected to close 60 and 92 stores respectively, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

In March, fashion retailer Next also revealed it will axe 60 of its shops putting 980 jobs at risk.

Mothercare staff recently claimed to the Sun Online that they work in a pressurised environment with long hours and a work load so high it feels like they are “selling their soul” to the firm.

The company is one of the country’s biggest maternity and children’s retailers with about 140 stores in the UK and more than 5,000 employees worldwide.

Amazon to create 1,200 new UK jobs by opening a new warehouse in Warrington

AMAZON has announced that it will create 1,200 permanent new jobs in the UK with the opening of a new warehouse in the Cheshire town of Warrington.

The e-commerce giant will be recruiting for a range of new roles, including operations managers, engineers, HR and IT specialists.

Amazon will create 1,200 new jobs with the opening of its fulfilment centre in Warrington

Amazon said that fulfilment centre employees will start on a minimum salary of £7.65 an hour

A number of roles are already being advertised online, but recruiting will properly begin later this year.

The new warehouse, known as a “fulfilment centre” – where goods are received, stored and packaged – is one of four being opened this year by Amazon in order to meet “increasing customer demand” in the UK.

The centres will open in Doncaster, Tilbury and Warrington around autumn time, while the Daventry site opened in February.

In total, more than 2,300 new permanent full-time jobs will be created across the four centres.

Amazon said that employees will start on a minimum salary of £7.65 an hour – just a little over the £7.50 compulsory national living wage for over-25s.

Stefano Perego, Amazon’s director of UK customer fulfilment said: “We are thrilled to begin recruitment for 1,200 new permanent roles in Warrington with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.”

Benefits include private medical insurance, subsidised meals and an employee discount, which Amazon claims is worth more than £700 a year, as well as a company pension plan.

Fulfilment centres are where Amazon goods are received, stored, packaged and prepared for shipment

Amazon also announced that the first dedicated UK receive centre will open in Coventry next year, and will act as a central hub to receive and sort millions of products sold each year. This will create an additional 1,650 jobs.

Martin Lane, managing editor of said that it was “great” Amazon is creating new opportunities for workers, but that it could be potentially hindering competition which could mean higher prices for shoppers in the long run.

He said: “Competition is good for consumers and Amazon is making life difficult for small start-ups and the self-employed who simply can’t compete with its prices.

“After the exposé on its employment practices last year, I imagine Amazon will be ensuring it observes squeaky clean processes and be committed to safe and legal hours.”



Co-op Group has made a £132MILLION loss after writing off its banking business

THE CO-OP GROUP has made a £132million loss after writing off its bank business.

It reduced the value of its 20 per cent stake in the CO-OPERATIVE BANK from £185million to zero.

Co-op bank
The Co-op Group has put its share of the Co-operative bank on the market after suffering £132million loss

The loss, the group’s first since 2013, is a sharp drop from its £23million profit last year.

Co-Op Bank put itself up for sale in February. A spokesman told The Sun that plans to sell the stake in the bank had made it difficult to value it.

As a result, the group had decided it would be “prudent” to value it at zero in its accounts.

The bank has had problems since it was taken over in 2009 by Britannia Building Society

The Co-op also confirmed that it is “supportive of the sale process” and “hopes it will achieve a sale”.

Possible buyers have until the middle of the month to express an interest.

An announcement on the bank’s future is expected in the next few days.

The bank’s woes date back to its disastrous takeover of the Britannia Building Society in 2009.

Poor quality loans at the building society pushed the bank to a huge loss in 2012.

The fallout from the write-downs left the bank unable to complete on a deal to buy more than 600 branches from Lloyds Bank.

Then in 2013 the bank almost collapsed after the discovery of a £1.5billion black hole in its finances.

A group of US investors rescued it and Co-operative Group kept a 20 per cent stake in the bank as part of the deal.

But in the same year the bank was also hit by scandal when its chairman, former Methodist minister

Paul Flowers, was forced to step down from the £132,000-a-year job.He was filmed buying cocaine, ketamine and crystal meth for drug-fuelled orgies.

The shamed preacher, dubbed the crystal Methodist, admitted possession of drugs and was defrocked by the church in January this year.

Despite its woes, the troubled bank has remained a hit with its four million customers.

A two step plan to fix woes

IN February the Co-op Bank announced a two-part strategy in a bid to fix its woes.

It said it was looking for a new buyer.

And it said it would consider a debt-for-equity swap to raise cash.

A progress report is expected this month.

What happens if the bank fails to find a buyer and is unable to raise more capital is highly theoretical.

But one option could be to transfer customer accounts to other providers in order to maintain a service for them.

Customer deposits up to £85,000 are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Sainsbury’s set to buy Nisa as it continues battle with Tesco over small stores

BOSSES at Sainsbury’s parent company have entered into exclusive talks to buy convenience store chain Nisa.

The deal, worth around £130 million, follows Tesco’s £3.7 billion takeover of Booker, the wholesale retailer that runs the Londis and Budgens chains.

Bosses at the supermarket are set to make an offer for convenience chain Nisa

The bid on Nisa comes after Tesco’s deal with Booker for its convenience stores and wholesale business

The board of Nisa, which is owned by its shopkeeper members, recently hired bankers to advise on its options after a number of buyers came forward.

It’s now understood that Sainsbury’s will make a formal offer for Nisa but it is not known how the deal will work, if accepted.

The decision to sell up, which was first reported by The Guardian, could cause controversy among Nisa’s members.

The Nisa chain was founded in 1977 and describes itself as a “family of independent grocers”.

The deal between Tesco and Booker is currently being investigated by competition watchdogs before it can go-ahead.

Booker has around 5,400 stores in its network which all trade under the Premier, Londis, Budgens and Family Shopper brands.

The move comes after years of falling sales for Tesco, which has lost significant market share to other UK supermarkets, including discount chains Aldi and Lidl.

William Hill to close almost half of betting shops putting 4,500 jobs at risk

WILLIAM Hill says it may have to close up to 900 stores over the next two years, in a move that could affect 4,500 jobs.

The bookmaker is concerned about new UK gambling laws coming into force on April 1, which limit the maximum bet people can place on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2.

William Hill looks set to close 900 stores over the next two years putting 4,500 jobs at risk

These are machines where gamblers can place bets on the outcome of simulated games and events such as roulette, blackjack, bingo and horse racing.

William Hill first confirmed it was considering store closures after disappointing half-year results in 2018.

Now, following publication of a trading statement yesterday, the bookmaker has confirmed that store closures may have to go ahead, but has said that it is hoping they can be avoided.

It has approximately 2,300 stores in the UK, so the maximum closures represent almost half (40 per cent) of its shops.

In the first instance, the bookmaker is looking to remodel stores to focus on other products, and has indicated that closures would be a steady drip rather than a sudden change.

How many stores eventually close is likely to depend on the impact of regulations on consumer behaviour and what its competitors do.


GAMBLING addiction can be harmful to your psychological and physical health. Here’s how to get help:

  • What is “self exclusion”?  If  you think you are spending too much time or money gambling in an arcade, betting shop, bingo venue or casino then ask staff for more information about self-exclusion schemes. Read more on how to self exclude.
  • Consider calling the National Gambling Helpline who can offer you free, confidential advice and counselling. According to charity BeGambleAware, self-exclusion can be helpful but will be more effective if you also give the helpline a call first.
  • If you’re concerned about keeping your gambling under control, sticking to some simple rules. Setting a money or time limit can help make the hard decisions for you when the time comes to walk away.
  • Only gamble what you can afford to lose – gamble within your weekly entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent money.

The bookmaker has confirmed that it will start shutting loss-making shops this year, and thinks that as many as 900 could eventually become loss-making meaning they may have to close in the future.

As each shop has about five members of staff, the move could put 4,500 jobs at risk.

It is not yet clear how many shops are already operating at a loss and therefore likely to close in 2019.

The group has said that each store closure could cost up to £60,000 and that operating profits would likely decrease by up to £100million a year.

Last year, William Hill announced that its US operations could help bolster the company’s fortunes, following the overturning of a Supreme Court decision that limited sports betting in the US.

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William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock said: “It has been an excellent start for us since PASPA was overturned. We have built on our existing business in Nevada which is number one and growing and in Delaware where we are risk manager for the entire state.

“We are now the early market leader in New Jersey where our mobile app will launch within weeks and we expect to be market leader in Mississippi with these 11 casino agreements.

“The team continue to engage in discussions that cover a further 14 states.”

The bookmaker is still making acquisitions in other markets, for instance a deal to acquire onling Swedish gaming company Mr Green.

But the future remains rocky for the UK business.

The bookmaker said that its operating profit is expected to come in at £234million, significantly lower than last year, but within the expected range that it had previously set out.

The Sun has contacted William Hill for a statement.

There’s bad news for gamblers as a remote gaming duty will rise by 6 per cent from October this year.

Meanwhile, a new Barclays app limits spending on gambling and drinking by blocking customers’ cards from “turned off” types of expenses.

And digital bank Monzo is going to let customers block payments to gambling sites to help addicts.

GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer merge healthcare divisions in huge £10bn deal

PHARMACEUTICAL giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer have agreed to bring together their healthcare divisions under a new joint venture.

Both companies are combining their big name consumer health brands which is set to result in combined sales of £9.8billion.

The drugs giants are set to merge under a joint venture that’ll create almost £10billion in sales

This includes GSK owned Panadol and Sensodyne as well as Pfizer’s Advil and Centrum brands.

The deal is expected to take place in the second half of 2019 once it’s approved by shareholders, with GSK controlling 68 per cent of the business and Pfizer the remaining 32 per cent.

GSK says the combined venture, set to be named GSK Consumer Healthcare, will make the new company a global leader in over-the-counter products.

Within three years of completing the deal, the drugs giant has also said it’ll separate the joint venture to form two separate companies – one focused on consumer healthcare and the other on pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

Emma Walmsley, chief executive at GSK, said: “With our future intention to separate, the transaction also presents a clear pathway forward for GSK to create a new global Pharmaceuticals/Vaccines company, with an R&D approach focused on science related to the immune system, use of genetics and advanced technologies, and a new world-leading Consumer Healthcare company.

The venture will bring together big name health brands including Panadol and Advil

“Ultimately, our goal is to create two exceptional, UK-based global companies, with appropriate capital structures, that are each well positioned to deliver improving returns to shareholders and significant benefits to patients and consumers.”

George Salmon, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says GSK’s decision to spin off its consumer healthcare division comes as a “surprise”.

He said: “In the short-term, teaming up with Pfizer means GSK will become over the counter market leader in pretty much all major geographies around the world, and the partnership should bring significant cost savings too.

“Still though, all deals can be made to look good on paper – the challenge will be delivering smooth execution of those planned savings.”

Earlier this year, GSK announced it’d be closing its Sligo manufacturing plant resulting in the loss of 165 jobs by 2021.

The pharmaceuticals giant said the demand for products made at the site had not been growing in line with expectations, making the current business model unsustainable.

It’s CEO, Emma Walmsley, was appointed as its first ever female boss making her one of the UK’s most powerful businesswomen.