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Live to work or work to live?

The Guardian this week reported on a shifting attitude to work in the UK, as more and more employees aim to tilt their work/life balance firmly in favour of ‘life’.

The article told the stories of several young people who, somewhat disillusioned with the professional world, have changed their focus in recent years towards working to live, rather than living to work.

Molly, for example, realised when her employer refused to provide her with a flexible work pattern following the birth of her child, that she was being treated simply as “a cog in the machine.”

That realisation led her to see that years of starting early and finishing late, going above and beyond her expected duties, would not be rewarded in the way that she hoped.

“Work is a distraction from life,” Molly says today, and views it as merely a means to an end.

Now, she confines her work to more strictly set times so that she can prioritise time with her family.

Another contributor to the article, James, had an epiphany about his professional life after reading Bullshit Jobs, a book by anthropologist David Graeber.

James felt in his previous job that he was working hard but still not managing to get ahead in society due to rapid increases in property prices and the cost of living.

While he says he still values his work, James has “realised that this myth a lot of millennials were told – graft, graft, graft and you’ll always get what you want – isn’t necessarily true.”

Now, he says he turns his phone to flight mode to give him some peace and quiet, and enjoys the opportunity to prioritise activities like hiking, reading, and watching films.

The contributors to the article are not alone. The piece points to statistics published this month by King’s College London, which showed that just 14% of UK millennials believe work should “always come first,” compared to 41% back in 2009.

The survey also places the UK below other countries in terms of how many people believe “work is very or rather important,” with 73% of brits responding positively to the suggestion.

The figures are much higher in other countries such as in France, where 94% of people agree, and the work-obsessed Philippines, where 99% of people agreed with the statement.

Is this latest development another example of the ‘snowflake generation’ losing their fire, or are the times really a-changin’ when it comes to our relationship with work?

Betr’s big gamble

Betr is making waves Down Under as the Australian online bookmaker faces a potential epic pay-out.

According to an article in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), tens of thousands of Aussie punters made a savvy move almost a year ago during Betr’s launch promotion.

They took advantage of 100-1 odds on various events, including the AFL, NRL, NBA, Melbourne Cup.

The most popular bet? The Penrith Panthers snagging the 2023 rugby premiership, which would be their third title in a row – a case of third time unlucky for Betr.

The Panthers will face the Brisbane Broncos this Sunday in the grand finale. Should they win, Betr could shell out a whopping A$40m in total prize money.

That would be the largest single pay-out in the history of Australian sports gambling. Talk about a high-stakes game…

But here’s the twist: Betr has been trying desperately to get customers to cash out by offering them cash and vouchers in return.

According to the AFR, they recently sent out emails warning that it might take up to a week to deliver the money into accounts.

To mitigate this financial fiasco, the article suggests that Betr employed a classic strategy known as “betting back”.

This means the company placed its own bets with other bookmakers on the same outcome (the Panthers winning), and will now use those winnings to pay their customers.

Betr leader Matt Tripp expressed his “ambivalence” towards the outcome and even framed the potentially historic pay-out as a win for the company, suggesting that users would keep the money in their accounts for more gambling ahead of the Spring Racing Carnival.

Can Crockfords cope?

Online operators aren’t the only ones feeling the strain of doing away with VIPs, as sustainability increasingly appears to be prioritised over making a quick buck.

Crockfords Casino might have to close its doors despite being Britain’s oldest casino, having first opened for business nearly 200 years ago in 1828.

Vegas Slots Online reports the casino – which is these days owned by Malaysian giant Genting Group – has kicked off a 30-day consultation with staff to try and save the company from closure.

Genting UK COO and President Paul Willcock told the affiliate: “We will explore all options during the consultation period and no decision will be made until the views of our staff have been heard.”

Footfall has dropped at the Mayfair venue, which is worth some £80m, as wealthy tourists can no longer take advantage of VAT-free shopping in the UK since Brexit. Remind me, what were the tangible benefits of leaving the European Union again? Blue passports instead of red ones? Yippee!

Indeed, some of the largest retailers in the luxurious London region are pushing the government to reinstate the “tourist tax” to bolster the faltering retail economy.

According to Vegas Slots Online, Grosvenor Casinos operator Rank Group said high rollers from the Middle East now prefer to go to Milan and Paris instead of London.

A few well-known casinos have shut up shop in London recently, including The Clermont and The Ritz, and the centuries old Crockfords could be next to bite the dust.

We hope the venue, originally founded by a fishmonger, survives this difficult period. Because sadly, as far as London-based casinos go, there are no longer plenty more fish in the sea.

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