The fallout continues in the wake of the sale of VegasInsider.com to British sports service, Sports Information Ltd. (SIL). GamingToday has learned that Ken White, VI’s longtime resident handicapper, is currently "in discussions" for a new contract with the Las Vegas based sports betting service.
Moreover, VI’s agreement with TV handicapper Wayne Root is being reviewed to determine whether the flamboyant tout will provide picks on the VI site for the upcoming football season.
"If we do a deal for this year, it will be different than last year and will focus more heavily on revenue generation than promotion," said VI Vice President and General Manager Peter Gold.
Gold said that discussions with Ken White, who is the "last of (VegasInsider’s) full-blown employee/handicappers," are very close to concluding.
White, who has worked for VegasInsider since the mid 1990s, is a two-time winner of the Stardust Invitational Handicapping Contest.
The VI website currently lists about two dozen handicappers and sports services, but White is the only salaried employee.
In a clarification of last week’s announcement of the sale of VegasInsider, Gold added that longtime employees Barry Daniels and Mark Franco were not released at the discretion of VegasInsider or its then-parent company, CBS SportsLine.
Instead, the decision to terminate them came from VI’s new owner, Sports Information Ltd.
"The decision to let people go was purely financial/economic," Gold said. "SIL wanted to take over VI with reduced operating expenses, and payroll is the largest area of such expenses."
The revelation is noteworthy since SIL said in a release that it would "retain existing management and key staff."
VegasInsider’s sister company, Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC), was not part of the sale, and must be sold by CBS SportsLine by the end of August 2003, or it will most likely be dismantled.
Gold said he hoped a buyer for LVSC could be identified before the August deadline.