Wednesday July 31,2013 : CONTROVERSY OF OVER SPORTS BETTING STAR IN NEW REALITY TV SHOW
 
CNBC's choice of unknown ‘expert' criticised
 
CNBC's announcement to the Television Critics Association over the weekend that it is to launch a reality television series on sports betting has generated a storm of criticism….not for the concept, but for the man the network has chosen to anchor the show – a man few seem to know named Steve Stevens.
 
A growing number of media outlets have slammed the appointment, decrying the network's description of Stevens as “a well-known Las Vegas handicapper” and instead insisting that he is a “fraud” and “ex-convict” who shouldn’t be given a platform on a major network.
 
Certainly an epithet-ridden Youtube vid for his company VIP Sports Las Vegas, has done little to change perceptions and can be viewed here:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c62WSSY_aTA.
 
In it, Stevens boasts that he has a 71.5 percent success rate, a statistic that Business Insider and other publications finds hard to swallow.
 
Bob Voulgaris, a sharp and respected NBA bettor, posted on Twitter that he’d never heard of Stevens, calling him “a complete scam artist” for making the 71,5 percent claim.
 
Other experts in the business felt the same, pointing out that Voulgaris, whom many believe is one of the best sports bettors around, only wins about 57 percent of his NBA bets, and SportsInsights says that its latest numbers suggest that the chances of winning 70 percent or more of bets against the spread are about one in one trillion.
 
Specialist website WagerMinds alleged that Stevens is an ex-convict whose real name is Darin Notaro, a man with a telemarketing scam background. That assertion was backed by a domain search on VIP Sports Las Vegas, which showed ownership as Notaro.
 
The reports note that there is a Darin Notaro in Las Vegas who has a significant telemarketing scam history of convictions that includes incidents in 1999 where elderly victims were cheated out of $234,000.
 
Confronted with the information, CNBC reportedly responded:
 
"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."