CNBC’s push into reality programming has yielded modest ratings results so far, with last week’s launch of sports betting show “Money Talks” drawing very small numbers.

Darin Notaro of Money Talks on CNBC
Nielsen estimates that Tuesday’s premiere of the show about sports handicapper Steve Stevens averaged 127,000 viewers, including 65,000 in the adults 25-54 demo — 40% lower in overall viewership and 34% lower in the demo than the network’s year-to-date averages in the same 10 p.m. timeslot (212,000 and 99,000).

The show has raised a lot of eyebrows in the sportsbook industry. Sports betting website Prime Wagers, which is “proud to be the most trusted online sportsbook site” and is focused on transparency, posted an article
earlier this month saying we've "never heard of Steve Stevens", who runs VIP Sports out of Las Vegas and claims to be winning more than 70% of his picks.


Steve Stevens, the star of an upcoming CNBC reality show called "Money Talks", is being called a fraud and an ex-convict by some of the most prominent people in the sports betting world today.

Steve Stevens AKA Darin Notaro of Money TalksDarin Notaro of upcoming CNBC reality show "Money Talks" airing Sept 10th
Stevens has a business where he sells sports betting picks called VIP Sports  Las Vegas.

The CNBC  press release for the show calls him "a well-known handicapper," and a promo  video on his company's website claims he has a winning percentage of 71.5%. The  show is a "docu-soap," and it's set to air Sept. 10.

But apparently no one in Vegas has heard of Stevens, and his 70% winning 
percentage is considered impossible.

Even worse, a damning report from WagerMinds lays out  evidence alleging that
his name is actually Darin Notaro, and he has been  arrested multiple times for
telemarketing fraud. 

Todd Fuhrman, a former oddsmaker at Caesar's Palace, wrote in a blog post
, "No one, and I mean no one,  in the sports betting community I speak with
daily knows who this guy is."

Prime Wagers spoke with our very own Sports Betting mastermind Phil Vassallo,
he said, "I have never heard of this Steve Stevens or Darin Notaro".

Prime Wagers — a sports betting website that is focused on transparency in the 
industry — also said they've never heard of him in their article.

Bob Voulgaris, a popular sharp NBA bettor, said on Twitter that  he'd never
heard of Stevens either, calling him "a complete scam artist" for the 70% claim.

The 70% claim was a red flag for a lot of sports betting folks. Voulgaris, 
whom Nate Silver called the best sports bettor in  the world, only wins about
57% of his NBA bets. SportsInsights ran the  numbers in June and found that
your chances of winning 70% of bets against the  spread are about one in one

It's basically impossible to win 70%, but the VIP Sports  Las Vegas website is
using that claim to sell its picks to customers. Here's  the promo video from the
website (with NSFW language):

A CNBC spokesman told us in a statement that viewers will have to draw their 
own conclusions about Stevens' business, adding, "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."

While CNBC says it doesn't endorse his business, there's a website 
called that directs readers to the VIP  Sports Las Vegas
site and asks readers for their email addresses and phone  numbers.

A CNBC spokesman told us, "He is not authorized to use the CNBC name or logo."
CNBC declined comment on whether or not they're taking steps to remove  the
association on the website.

The website boasts, "You may have seen VIP Sports on the new CNBC show Money 
Talks. If so you know Steve Stevens is the real deal."

Before we jump on CNBC, there's a big difference between Stevens being a 
fraud and the show itself being a fraud. We'll have to wait to see how he is 

But that's not all.

WagerMinds reported that the domain name  for Stevens' business VIP Sports
Las Vegas was only registered eight months ago.  It was registered under the
name Darin Notaro.

According to WagerMinds, Notaro has been arrested and convicted in  telemarketing
scams going back to 1999. He was sentenced to a year in prison at  age 25 for a scheme
that "bilked elderly citizens across the nation out of at  least $234,000," according to the Las
Vegas Sun.

Judging by this screenshot from WagerMinds, they look  alike:

Steve Stevens AKA Darin Notaro of Money Talks Show

According to WagerMinds, it appears that Notaro also rents the office space 
where VIP Sports Las Vegas is housed.

A CNBC spokesman said they are aware of the 1999 conviction. Here's the full 

"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."

We called the number provided on the VIP Sports Las Vegas website and left a 
message. We are waiting a response.

Again, we'll have to wait until the show airs to see if he is portrayed as what he claims
to be (a big-shot sports bettor) or what many in the betting community see him as (a shady figure).