11/29/2006 12:00AM

A wagering hub, and so much more


The Las Vegas Dissemination Company has made a name for itself in the horse racing industry.

The company, founded in 1988 by John Gaughan, is best known as the wagering hub for the 83 race books in Nevada. LVDC imports the simulcast signal, processes all the wagers between the race books and the tracks all over the country, and makes sure the players, the tracks, and the race books get their proper share. So, LVDC is the technological link between the tracks and the race books here, but it's also the personal link. And for that reason, the company is hosting a reception at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Symposium on Racing and Gaming at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Ariz. The Symposium is hosted by the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program and runs from Monday through Thursday.

"This is our chance to extend our appreciation to the racetracks and our clients in a relaxed atmosphere," said Vinny Magliulo, LVDC's vice president of marketing and corporate development. "It's also a good networking opportunity."

Yes, LVDC knows all types of networking, but just as other businesses have to change with the times or be left behind, LVDC is branching out in its services. The company also handles the tote responsibilities for Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas, Cities of Gold in New Mexico, Elite Turf Club in Curacao, The Stables in Oklahoma, and Meskwaki Casino in Iowa. LVDC has also signed up with Digital Gaming Solutions to disseminate parimutuel Thoroughbred, harness, greyhound, and jai-alai wagering from the U.S. to South and Central America.

"Both companies recognize that the next step for our industry is on the international stage," Gaughan said.

But that isn't to say LVDC is not trying to expand its business in this country. At the Symposium, Magliulo said LVDC would have a booth to show racetracks and OTB's the company's Individual Player's Terminal. There is even a mobile version that customers can take from their seats and wager with from other areas of the casino. The devices can also be programmed with slots and table games that meet local gaming laws.

"As technology continues to advance, so will the opportunity for people to wager in a more convenient fashion," said Magliulo, who said he envisions customers will eventually be able to use these devices to perform tasks such as making dinner reservations and checking out of their room. "LVDC has been a part of the evolution of horse racing not only in Nevada but around the rest of the country. We feel this will continue with our technological advances and alliances. The industry has been very good at working with regulators to meet the demands of the public. The public will continue to drive that, and it's plain to see that this is the direction all gaming is headed."

Football contests pay off big

As the football season starts to wind down, the winners keep rolling in.

* Chris Hobbs, a 35-year-old Las Vegas resident, won the $30,000 first-place price in the Leroy's College Challenge. A total of 383 contestants put up the $250 per entry - a total of $95,750 - but Leroy's guaranteed a $100,000 prize pool and made up the difference. Contestants made seven plays a week against the spread, and Hobbs, who entered under the alias "Ace of Spades," finished with a record of 57-27 (68 percent). Professional handicapper Andy Iskoe, who used the aliases "Fumbleitis" and "Jimmy Castor," tied with himself for second and third at 56-28. Second place was worth $14,000, third was worth $8,000, and Iskoe also picked up an additional $2,500 for tying for the best record over the final four weeks.

* The Glory of the Gridiron contest at the Harrah's and Caesars properties just passed the 12-week mark of its NFL contest and awarded a $15,000 prize for the leader at that point. The leader, going under the alias "Jarhead," is an out-of-towner named Robert Burns, who had a record of 49-23 (68 percent). That's even more impressive considering he went 1-5 this past week. Burns is trying to pull off an impressive double - he is the leader in the Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest (also using the name "Jarhead") at 42-17-1. In the Hilton event, he went 2-3 last week but still has a 2 1/2-game lead.

* Professional gambler Steve Fezzik wrapped up his victory over former bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich in the Beat Bogdanovich contest, held each Friday at the Fitzgerald's casino downtown and on the Leroy's Sports Hour from 2-3 p.m. on KENO AM-1460. Fezzik went just 2-4 the final week but finished with a record of 42-23-7 (65 percent). Bogdanovich certainly didn't embarrass himself at 43-27-2 (61 percent). Each put up $25,000 of his own money, so Fezzik gets the whole $50,000.

* The Money Talks Invitational, held at the Silverton from 8-9 p.m. each Friday and on KSHP AM-1400, is into the semi-final round, where Marc Lawrence will take on Doc Moseman of Doc's Sports this week and Iskoe will take on Erin Rynning of sportsmemo.com next Friday before the championship match Dec. 15. Sixteen handicappers put up $5,000 apiece, and the champion of the single-elimination tournament will win $80,000, with Leroy's kicking in $20,000 for the runner-up.

The rodeo is in town

The National Finals Rodeo, held at the Thomas and Mack Center, was to begin Thursday and runs through next Saturday, Dec. 9.

Cowboys will be overrunning the casinos and all other venues around town, in addition to attending the competitions each night.

The entertainment listings also take on a country-western flavor. Acts such as Brooks and Dunn, Hank Williams Jr., Vince Gill, Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis, Charlie Daniels, Big and Rich, and Brad Paisley appear on billboards all over town.

Full details are available at nfrexperience.com.