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CBS Sportsline finds buyer
for LVSC

Nov 18, 2003 8:41 AM

After months of speculation over an uncertain future, CBS Sporstline announced Monday it had secured a buyer for its subsidiary, Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC).

"We filed the papers with the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) on Friday, and expect the sale to close on November 24," said Sportsline spokesman Larry Wahl. "Of course, anything can happen, but we have a definitive agreement to sell LVSC."

Wahl said the purchaser of LVSC — an odds-making service that produces betting lines and odds for professional and amateur sporting events — is a group of Nevada-based investors.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

According to a statement released by LVSC, the investment group includes Ken White, a handicapper and oddsmaker; Ellen Whittemore, a Nevada gaming attorney with experience dealing with the Gaming Control Board and attorney general’s office; and Jeff Patterson and David Whittemore, commercial attorneys who have represented casino clients in a number of business transactions.

"We have received assurances from the State Gaming Control Board that Las Vegas Sports Consultants may continue operations without interruption pending the licensing approval of the purchasers," LVSC president Mark Mariani said in a statement.

The announced sale ends months of speculation that LVSC would be shut down, which would effectively eliminate the state’s primary odds-making service.

For more than 20 years, LVSC has been providing odds and point spreads to all major Las Vegas and international sports books.

But earlier this year, CBS Sportsline, the sole owner of LVSC, announced it would be selling its gaming assets — LVSC and VegasInsider — in the wake of a deal it struck with the NCAA.

The NCAA is vehemently opposed to sports gambling, so Sportsline agreed to dispose of its Las Vegas assets by the end of this year.

In June, Sportsline sold VegasInsider to a British purchaser, Sports Information Ltd.

Mariani said he expects LVSC to continue "business as usual."

"The investor group has expressed to us their desire and intent to keep the Las Vegas Sports Consultants team of oddsmakers together to continue to provide ”¦ the best possible real time odds, advice and consulting services," Mariana said. "We are sure that they will continue to work to achieve (sports books’) full support and to continue to provide exceptional service and product."

Most sports books in Nevada welcome the news that LVSC will continue to operate.

"Las Vegas Sports Consultants has been a major contributor to the industry," said John Avello, race and sports director of Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas. "They are very reliable."