RealTime IT News

Betting on the Bettors

London-based digital wagering operation UKBetting plc is acquiring a sports betting business unit from Sports.com Ltd., the discontinued European venture that counted among its partners SportsLine.com , publisher of CBS SportsLine.com.

Being acquired by UKBetting is SCG Enterprises, the wagering side of Sports.com Ltd., for about $1.03 million.

Sports.com, which is 30 percent owned by SportsLine.com, was recently put in "administration," a UK procedure in which a court-appointed official assumes control of a company in order to determine whether a business should be reorganized, sold or liquidated.

UKBetting said that it is paying off liabilities of Sports.com and purchasing the entire betting operation, including 24,000 betting customers, and the URL www.sports.co.uk. This takes UKBetting's customer list to more than 100,000, the company said.

A spokesman for SportsLine.com told internetnews.com that its investment in the European venture has been carried on its books as a discontinued operation for about a year. The betting side is aimed at UK and European bettors (soccer, horse racing and other sports) and was not available to U.S. residents.

UKBetting also operates content sites sportinglife.com and bettingzone.co.uk.

Separately, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based SportsLine said the Sports.com domain itself was sold to an unnamed "unrelated third party." SportsLine had licensed the domain name to Sports.com Ltd.

"We and the other shareholders were unwilling to provide additional capital to fund Sports.com's operations and we support the decision by the Sports.com board ... to place the company in administration in order to protect the creditors," said Michael Levy, founder, chairman and CEO of SportsLine.com, at the time the UK operation was put in administration.