Evil Diaries: Online Betting And The WEB Of Influence

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Evil Diaries: Online Betting And The WEB Of Influence

Webis (WEB) controlled in voting terms by the chairman and whose father, Sir James Mellon, was on the board but died perhaps six months ago, reported a few days ago. These figures are pretty bleak but, intriguingly, Denham Eke, now de facto non-executive head honcho, remarked en passant that WEB expects an approach from somebody to get a toehold in American horserace betting. That seems quite reasonable to me. WEB is tiny – capitalised at about £5m which is just a few chocolate cakes from Tesco. Therefore punters are advised to sit tight although, obviously, not to bet when tight. Toe-dipping at 1.2p seems perfectly sensible.


I have covered the problem before of investing in far off territories where the host politicians welcome the influx of capital and expertise brought to their country for just as long as the cash comes in. Thereafter a sudden urge to break the agreement with the incomer emerges.

This has happened to First Quantum Minerals (FQM in Toronto) which entered Panama some years ago to develop what has proved to be the largest open cast copper mine in the world. For this opportunity FQM agreed to pay a royalty. Only the politicians decided that they would now like more. So they have broken Panama’s agreement and closed down FQM’s operations until they have persuaded FQM to pay more.

This is a warning to others but highly irritating to FQM right now. The shares stand at roughly a third of what they were a year ago. Are they now a buy at c. USD12? I do not know. Serious potential investors will have to instal covert bugging devices in Panama’s cabinet room. This is not a case of prospective insider trading but trading once inside.

Incidentally, it might be different had FQM bribed the politicians when they kicked off developing the mine. But FQM are not fools – bribes end up destroying all hope.


Prince Harry, allegedly the Duke of Sussex, wants the taxpayer to pay for his protection when he is in this country. And the High Court have quite rightly denied him this subsidy. The cure is in hands: Just Stay Out.

Comments (1)

  • David Power says:

    Simon , Off topic but I am curious as to your take on Bitcoin.I saw some years back you wrote something about it way back in 2014 and it was not negative if I recall correctly.Thanks in advance for any reply

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