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.

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