Lying sports books and more

Sports Book Scene takes a look at upcoming mainstream press of the offshore sports biz, lying sports books and their promotions and more.

Maybe off shore sports betting is going mainstream.

Recently we were interviewed by a reporter for a prestigious daily paper who is doing an article on the off shore sports book industry.

What is so encouraging is that he asked genuinely sharp questions, and made a real effort to understand the little niche universe inhabited by those of us who bet on sports.  Like any special interest activity, sports wagering has its mores, customs and is not easily accessible to outsiders.

We don’t expect a puff piece on the biz, as this industry definitely has some warts on its hide.  However, a story that accurately and thoughtfully examines off shore gaming and presents it to the general public is likely to have a positive effect.

Since so many nongamblers demonize betting and routinely consider it a vice, even-handed coverage in a major publication helps both the player and the bookmaker gain a modicum of credibility and respectability.

To get a first hand look at off shore books, the reporter journeyed to Costa Rica accompanied by the Shrink, whose website is The Prescription.  A full and entertaining account of that visit is at his website,  Since the Shrink promised not to reveal the paper’s identity, we are honorbound not to publish its name either.

While we were at his site, we noticed in the posting forum that someone – whose identity the Shrink seemingly uncovered – had posted a blatant misrepresentation and deliberate lie about a recent Sports Book Scene column.

Apparently some down-and-out tout felt he might somehow resurrect himself by making a bogus statement that we were “touting these ‘new’ expensive packages to buy Jimmy Vaccaro and Wayne Root’s picks … we’re in a lot of trouble when the Buzz Dalys of the world turn to scamdicapping instead of fighting it.”

If there is one constant in the Internet/sports betting universe, it is that touts will stoop to any level of misrepresentation in the desperate hope that somehow it will advance the tout’s cause.  Of course, such efforts are always counterproductive.

We covered Wayne Root’s new sports service, including a review of his upcoming TV show, on June 28.  It may be read in our archives, and we stand by that piece.

We certainly do not consider ourselves to be above criticism.  And when we’re off base (it happens), we don’t mind admitting it.

Re Jimmy Vaccaro:  has he had 900 numbers?  Sure.  And he worked for Jim Feist.  So?  Anyone dopey enough to make value judgments based on such sketchy data doesn’t get any slack from us.  Jimmy is a good friend.  Moreover, he earned his reputation for integrity and credibility in an arena few bettors would last in for very long.  He is one of this industry’s few living legends.

But don’t be misled by our kudos.  Jimmy never claimed to be pure as driven snow.  He’s a sharp.  If you’re a fool, count on coming in second best with him, every time.

When a poor schlep who seems to believe the only way to get recognition is by posting false characterizations about someone who ignored a barrage of shrill emails begging for coverage, it is most revealing.  Jealousy, bitterness, and lots of time on your hands because you are virtually unemployable is more pitiable than worthy of scorn.

We write under our own name, rather than post on the Internet under a fictitious identity.  For better or worse, what we have written speaks for itself, and we’ll live with it.

In the same thread, another rocket scientist stated that, “Both Don Best and Buzz Daly have sold out to scamdicappers.”  Apparently he is referencing the same piece on Wayne Root, and the fact that Don Best schedules have advertising from touts.

The only rotation books we’ve ever seen that don’t take tout advertising are the ones distributed in Las Vegas sports books.  Accusations of selling out from people posting under phony names, who have little understanding of how the sports betting industry really works, is not disingenuous.  We don’t doubt its sincerity, but the relentless naivety it reflects renders it useless.

The same is true for the same writer’s criticism of a recent column in which he claimed “emphamizes (sic) a site which hasn’t opened its doors yet.”

Hey, dodo, that’s what we do.  Write about places before they open.  FYI, pointing out a few salient facts isn’t sugar coating.  If you want sleaze and slime, you’ll find it in abundant supply on the Internet, but not in our column.  And if you want someone to hold your hand and give you a “Consumer’s Report” on off shore books, sorry pal, that’s not our gig.  But there are sites that claim to do it.

If we sound irritated, we’re really not.  We needed some column material on a slow day when we have been busting our chops trying to get out the premiere edition of Players’ Choice, which will be a nationally distributed publication this year.  It’s been frustrating, and this column lets us ventilate a bit.

The lateness of this column posting should be the tipoff to how busy it has been at our little shop.

But, there’s one more item that just came in …

We received this email from a reader regarding a new off shore sports book.

“Hi, I received the below email solicitation from a sports book which goes by the name Tele sports. They suggest I contact you to verify that they in fact do advertise with you.  Please confirm.  Regards.”

Hello Mr. M_____:

            This is Ana from Tele sports customer service and I just want to inform you of our bonuses and a little about us.

            We have been in business for little over four and a half years now! We are not very big as I mentioned before, we established a base down here in the islands of Costa Rica through the company’s expansion and plans to tap into and get more involve in the American market.  We have done so advertising over the years so American Radios and magazines eg. Sports Form, Las Vegas sporting News, player’s choice and guide, Buzz, Winners edge, Daily Racing Form and others.  Radios extra 690, KGME AZ, 7740 DENVER, SPORTS HOG, just to name a few!

            As I mentioned before Mr. M_____ we are not very big bit we are pretty solid, we offer so good bonuses over the years including some new monthly promotions.

            Our present promotion for Football is: Deposit from $2500 or more, receive your regular bonuses on your deposits, from now until you starts betting in Football season, receive 12.5% on your money for each month until you starts betting come football.

            I hope you will find this productive for you needs and look forward to working with you, if you have any questions please contact customer service at 1-800-496-4356.

In some ways, it’s very clever, and in some ways, pretty dumb.

The sincere tone of the letter will fool many.  But the savvy recipient will check the veracity of its claims.  The savvier recipient will note the typos, inaccuracies, overall lack of professionalism, and simply toss it.  And how about the reference to being “down here in the islands of Costa Rica”?!

No, it does not advertise with us in any of our venues.  No, we have never heard of it.  Yes, it appears to be an attempt to confuse people by using the name of a legitimate, highly respected, longstanding member of the sports book community, World Wide Tele Sports, in Antigua.

This is the kind of letter that Sports Book Scene readers know instinctively to throw away.  But of course, scam artists play a numbers game.  The few who get snared make up for the many who don’t respond.

Rest assured, several months into the season, some people will start asking for money, not get it, scream about how they have been scammed, and go to posting forums asking for help in getting their money back.

Our only comment is, as long as players insist on being duped, there will always be plenty of characters willing to accommodate them. | August 1st, 2000

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
A long time sports betting columnist, Buzz Daly

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