We need to go back to August 2015, as on Sunday the 11th just after midnight on the FBI stepped in and raided 43 locations. It was Super Bowl Sunday and the 43 places based across 16 states. The FBI attempted to take down the computer group often referred to as one of the most successful gambling syndicate ever. Follow-up indictments that were based on off-kilter assumptions were enough for the bane of sportsbook to close up shop.
If you had money tied up or know of someone who did in the fantasy sports industry, well especially those implicated in the scandal you’ll know the events that followed. Employees of DraftKings won thousand, well actually hundreds of thousands of dollars, by using inside, proprietary information.
It might still be ok to play the system but getting away with it is another. As the story unfolds, it became quite evident that the DFS industry, unregulated and worth multibillion dollars were headed for a reckoning. According to reports the employees of the two major sites including FanDuel and DraftKings used inside information to their advantage, giving them a chance to line their pockets. The result was an increase in federal and state scrutiny of the unregulated status of the industry as well as the self-interpretation of DFS’ game of skill instead of gambling as per the Act of Internet Gambling Enforcement.
All Things Good/Bad Comes to an End.
The statement all good or bad things do come to an end is probably one most understood by the mastermind behind the computer group. Michael Kent, before stepping into the shoes of the sports gambling’s secret king was in Pittsburgh for most of the 70s. As a Pentagon contractor, he was working on the building of an improved nuclear submarine. At the same time, he was the centre field for the softball team of the company and used all resources to his avail to carefully analyse the statistics of the teams.
Kent was not satisfied as the data he compiled was merely not comprehensive enough to achieve the results he desired. His only solution was to start digging even deeper into the statistics of college football on point spreads and football statistics instead. Kent developed by 1979 a predictive program by using seven years of data. He also left Westinghouse and made Las Vegas his new home. He is focusing on this offer from Kent, the opportunity to test his program against America’s sharpest bookmakers.
But did these bookmakers ever stand a chance when it came to Kent’s program? Modern and successful sports gambling rely on data-first, so the question is: Were they ever prepared for a strategy such as that of Kent? Find out more in Part II of the Godfathers of Sports Betting.