Gambler At The Center Of Alabama Baseball Scandal Allegedly Bragged About Inside Information

According to reports, the man at the center of the University of Alabama baseball gambling scandal made a scene at the sportsbook and allegedly told the bet takers he had inside information which set off concern by sportsbook employees. Bert Neff Jr. was at the BetMGM Sportsbook at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati with over $100K in cash when he tried to place a wager on the No. 1 LSU Tigers with the knowledge that Alabama would be scratching their ace starting pitcher, a new Sports Illustrated report shows.

Neff Jr. Was Texting With Alabama Head Baseball Coach In The Open

Investigators told S.I. that security footage of the sportsbook shows Neff Jr. at the window pleading his case for making the wager, and his admitting to having inside information as he was texting directly with Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon.

Neff Jr. was forcing the issue because the sportsbook has a house limit on college baseball and the amount he wanted to wager far exceeded said limit.

The video surveillance cameras were able to zoom in on the details of Neff and Bohannon’s text exchange, making Bohannon’s name visible later in screenshots.

“[Video cameras] can see the [text] conversation back-and-forth,” a source familiar with the incident told the magazine. “It couldn’t have been any more reckless.”

This sounds like something straight out of a movie. This wasn’t hubris on the part of Neff Jr. It was outright stupidity. Sportsbooks have cameras, everyone knows this. The goal of casinos and sportsbooks isn’t to lose money. Did he not realize his ridiculous behavior would be flagged?

This Is The New Reality With Legalized Gambling

Bohannon was quickly fired back in May as he breached several university policies, including: supplying sports-related information to likely gamblers and soliciting, placing, or accepting a bet or wager on any intercollegiate or professional athletic contest.

Gambling on sports is as old as sports itself. But the worlds are too close now that it has become legal across most of the United States. With sportsbooks inside arenas, stadiums, and ballparks, the temptation might be too great for some.

Bohannon was making $500K a year as the head baseball coach and now he’ll likely never coach NCAA baseball again.

Once Neff’s behavior was flagged, the Ohio Casino Control Commission was made aware in conjunction with the South Eastern Conference and all wagers on Alabama baseball were suspended. No players are believed to be a part of the scandal. It looks like the connection is between Bohannon and Neff, but the investigation is ongoing.

“This is an active, ongoing investigation,” says Jessica Franks, director of communications for the OCCC. “In this particular case, everyone [at the BetMGM book] did their job. Once the staff at the sportsbook reported what they thought may have been suspicious or unusual activity, it was passed along to the commission and to U.S. Integrity.”

This is the new reality of legalized sports gambling. Those intimately familiar with the actual game (coaches, players, etc.) will continue to try to find ways to operate around the regulations and profit off inside information.

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