CNBC is putting together a new reality show titled Money Talks, which focuses on a sports betting expert named Steve Stevens who claims on his website to have a 71.5% success rate. This is all well and good except for a few small issues, namely (a) that many prominent members of the sports betting community have never heard of him, (b) a 71.5% success rate is essentially a mathematical impossibility, (c) he appears to actually be an ex-con named Darin Notaro.
Business Insider lays out all the damning evidence, the highlights of which are as follows:
- Despite CNBC referring to him as a “well-known handicapper,” a number of sports handicapping professionals, including Bob Voulgaris (commonly referred to as the best sports bettor in the world) and a former oddsmaker for Caesar’s Palace say they’ve never heard of him.
- The odds of winning 70% of your bets against the spread are something like one in one trillion.
- The domain for Stevens’ website, VIPsportsLasVegas.com was registered by a Darin Notaro, who has been convicted of telemarketing scams and went to prison for screwing senior citizens out of over $200,000, and, as WagerMinds points out, bears a striking resemblance to Steve Stevens.
- CNBCVIPsports.com redirects readers to Stevens’ website and asks them for their phone number and address, even though Stevens is not authorized to use the CNBC name or logo.
CNBC released this statement about the accusations, which seems to confirm that the star of their big new sports betting show is a super shady ex-con who is operating under a fake/new name, but begs viewers to tune in anyway to “draw their own conclusions”:
“We are aware of Steve Stevens’ 1999 conviction and while we are very clear in the press release that VIP Sports clients risk big dollars in the hopes that Stevens and his agents have the expertise to consistently deliver winners, viewers should tune in on September 10th at 10pm ET/PT to draw their own conclusions about VIP Sports. We are merely betting that viewers will be interested in the world of touts and handicappers and in no way endorse either Stevens’ picks or his business model.”
There’s still the possibility that Money Talks will address all this head-on, showing Stevens/Notaro as the profane Lyle Lanley he appears to be (see his “sizzle” video below), but seeing as CNBC is also the network that has the audacity to follow up a show titled American Greed with a full-hour of an excitable man shouting financial advice at the audience while smacking buzzers and tooting horns, I’m not tripping over myself to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.