Star Of New CNBC Sports Betting Show May Have Fraud Conviction Under Different Name
Many people in the realm of sports betting are saying that the star of CNBC’s new show "Money Talks" is in fact "a convicted telemarketing fraudster" operating under a different name, according to John Smith of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The show's pilot airs Sept. 10 and a release stated it "takes viewers inside the world of sports betting and Steve Stevens, a well-known handicapper who runs VIP Sports in Las Vegas." But many in the online sports betting and handicapping communities "don’t know any Steve Stevens," and they are "beginning to shout that VIP Sports maven Stevens is none other than Darin Notaro," who was sentenced in '99 to one year in jail for his part in a Las Vegas telemarketing scheme that bilked elderly citizens. Notaro is listed with the Nevada Secretary of State as "the sole principal owner at Executive VIP Services International, which lists its address as 4004 Schiff Drive, the same location as VIP Sports." Stevens and Notaro also "happen to look like twins." Stevens/Notaro "appears to understand that the potential to generate customers to his pay website is great: Increase name and celebrity, increase buzz, increase traffic, increase customers and increase profits." Smith: "What’s not to like? Except that, well, it’s more than a little disingenuous of CNBC to promote a reality TV series starring a convicted fraudster who claims an absurdly high winning percentage. Call me old-fashioned, but the network’s executives owe their viewers more than that." A source said, "If CNBC is familiar with his past and is putting him on TV as a voice for the sports-betting industry, it obviously has an agenda I believe translates into advertising revenue" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/31).