From The Inbox

Price of haircuts could be headed up … way up

If a massive salary earned by U.K. bet-shop boss is any indication, there's plenty of money to be earned in sports wagering, and the gamblers aren't likely to be the ones making it, reader says

Just a cautionary tale about gambling following up reader Garen Eggleston's warning (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 8).

Denise Coates, the highest-paid chief executive officer in the United Kingdom, paid herself $422 million last year. She runs Bet365. No prizes for guessing what the company does.

So, from every day's proceeds, much of it collected from people with financial problems from their addiction, she pockets a cool $1 million-plus. No doubt the other directors and major shareholders take their own serious slices, as do those from other companies in this business. How can the odds be fair if they produce profits on that scale? There should be a "not-for-profit" pool betting option with reasonable incomes for the organizers and moderate maximum stakes.

Ten quid on your personal favorite in the majors might be OK, but financing the extravagant lifestyles of billionaires can't be right. As a Harvard business professor with whom I worked used to say: Every time big money changes hands, someone takes a haircut.

I think there are a lot of hairless people, thanks to this business.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England

It’s #$%)@!* time for #$%)@!* golf in northern Indiana
I actually got a chance to do some outdoor swearing before and after Christmas here in the wonderful South Bend/Mishawaka metro complex in northern Indiana (“Allure of winter golf warms the heart,” Jan. 8).

I had my confessor spot me some forgiveness for any future swear words I might utter and then played three rounds with my friends at wonderful Whispering Pines Golf Course in North Liberty.

My clubs are staring out the window of my apartment right now, waiting for the sun to shine. Keep up the great writing, Gary Van Sickle.

John Fineran
Mishawaka, Ind.

Winter? What winter? It’s golf season in New Jersey
I’m in New Jersey and just finished playing in our winter tour – 23 degrees and windy at Twisted Dunes Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township (“Allure of winter golf warms the heart,” Jan. 8).

Our tour runs from the beginning of November until the first week of April. We aren’t fair-weather golfers and get around 100 or more players each week. Oh, and I’m 81 and not the oldest player.

We also have local pros and players from scratch to 30 handicaps.

Al Pollack
Maplewood, N.J.

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