New oddsmaker just around the Korner

Sep 27, 2005 7:26 AM

Beginning this week, there should be a new licensed oddsmaker in the state of Nevada.

Peter "Pete" Korner, former senior oddsmaker and operations manager for Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC), is scheduled to appear before the Nevada Gaming Commission on Tuesday to receive final approval as a licensed sports information service.

Korner’s company is called Esportclub LLC and will do business as The Sports Club.

"It’s my hope that the Commission will give official approval so we can open for business no later than October 1," Korner told GamingToday. "Other (sports) books want to see a new face supplying lines and information. I will be in direct competition with LVSC and welcome that challenge."

Earlier this month, Korner appeared before the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which recommended that his company be approved for licensing, but with the following conditions:

”¡ Korner is not to enter into any agreements with Don Best Sports without prior approval of Nevada regulators.

”¡ Korner is not to enter into any agreements with Internet wagering companies or bookmakers, without prior approval of regulators.

Korner, who worked at LVSC from 1987 to 2003, said he would take a "gradual approach" toward lining up prospective clients.

In Nevada, licensed sports services supply betting lines, as well as other information to sports books, including instantaneous line movements, advice, injury updates and other real-time information.

A law passed in 1999 requires all sports information services (oddsmakers) to become licensed by the state.

Sports books, however, aren’t required to subscribe to a service.

Besides Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the only other licensed sports information service in Nevada is Eugene Buonantony, who received a limited license in 2001.

Korner’s three-person staff includes ex-LVSC co-workers Cesar Robanina and Tom Vanderhoof, who together represent 20 years of experience in the industry.

"What I bring is another professional alternative," Korner said. "I have been in all the sports books at least a half-dozen times getting a feel of what they want and what they would like to see changed. I still have tremendous respect for LVSC and consider them my friends."

Korner said he decided to create his own company after his unsuccessful attempt two years ago to purchase LVSC, which was sold by CBS Sportsline to a group of Nevada attorneys.

"Having my own company was something I always thought about doing," he said. "I had been putting together a business with partner Vincent Tordiglione developing Internet sports contests. When Vincent passed away, I realigned my priorities and decided to put those ideas aside. I spent the time going for my sports information provider license."

Korner said he envisions bringing innovative ideas to the sports information marketplace.

"We want to introduce new technologies to make the entire sports operation more functional," he said. "The intention is to be safe in the scope of odds we create and to maximize profits."

The Sports Club will focus on serving Nevada-based clients in Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Laughlin and Mesquite.

"I want the sports books to know that my company will be there for them," he said. "By operating the company out of our homes, I feel we can best utilize new technologies to bring information to our clients faster than ever before. Competition is good for the industry and we are ready to compete for their business."

For their part, most Las Vegas sports book directors said they welcomed a new service in the oddsmaking arena.

"Las Vegas Sports Consultants have been around for years and they’ve been very reliable," said the sports book director at a major locals-oriented casino. "But it will be nice to get a comparison. Right now, it’s mostly looking at the lines on the Internet."

One sports book director said he hoped a new service would provide "sharp" lines that would not be subject to "huge fluctuations."

"When those lines make huge moves, that’s when we’re most vulnerable," he said. "If the line is sharp enough to draw two-way action, we’re happy."