World Business: The Public Bookie

Since the 1960 Betting and Gaming Act legalized off-track betting in Britain, every day is Derby Day for Britain's multitudinous gamblers. With wagering booming to $56 million a week, few have won more than Bookmaker Mark Lane, 45, who took his first bets in a shipboard pool as a World War II Tommy. When the shooting stopped, Lane set up as a bookmaker to take track bets on credit in London's East End. Since then, he has opened 16 bet shops, plans to start four more. Seeking expansion capital, Lane last week became the first British bookmaker to go public as...

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