Richard N. Velotta, Las Vegas Review-Journal
It’s been well-documented that the best people to ferret out sports cheats and game fixes are employed by Nevada’s legal sports books.
After all, they have a financial interest in the outcome of every race, match and meet posted in their books. If the fix is in and a player or players are under the influence of gamblers looking to make a quick score by collaborating with an athlete who doesn’t play up to his ability, the sports books are the ones that would take the financial hit.
That’s why I chuckled a little when I heard Sportradar AG, a Swiss company, was hired by the National Hockey League to address potential cheating in the sport — until I learned what Sportradar is all about.
Nevada sports books helped unravel a game-fixing scandal at Arizona State University in 1994.
That year, the old Horseshoe Race and Sports Book discovered some unusual betting patterns in ASU’s March basketball game against the University of Washington. Book employees alerted state Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander, who notified the FBI, which eventually investigated Stevin “Hedake” Smith, a two-time All-Pac-10 point guard who played for ASU from 1991-1994. Smith eventually was prosecuted for accepting $20,000 to shave points in ASU’s game against Oregon State University earlier that year.
Smith was arrested in summer 1997 and he and teammate Isaac Burton pled guilty to conspiracy for taking bribes to fix four games. He ended up serving a year and a day in prison and 1997 was the only year Smith saw any time playing in the National Basketball Association for the Dallas Mavericks.
Two decades later, cheating has become more sophisticated — but so has its detection. And that’s where Sportradar comes in.
Rest is here…