By Ted Orme-Claye for Insider Sport — The Vice President of a prominent Las Vegas sports betting company has stated that some bettors placing wagers on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the 2023 Super Bowl may have had insider information.
Speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, WestGate Sportsbook VP Jay Kornegay observed that several large bets were placed on the Buccaneers to win the National Football League (NFL) final before Tom Brady’s confirmation that he was coming out of retirement on Sunday.
Brady had announced his intention to retire from the NFL after 22 seasons just 40 days prior, having won the Super Bowl a total of seven times – six times with the New England Patriots and once with Tampa.
The return of the star quarterback – widely regarded as one of the greatest American football players of all time – saw Tampa Bay’s odds of 2023 Super Bowl glory fall significantly.
It was reported earlier this week that the Bucs are now one of the favourites to win the event following Brady’s return, with a consensus of the largest legal online sportsbooks in the US showing that the team are listed at odds of +750.
Kornegay noted that prior to the quarterback’s announcement one bettor had placed a large in-person wager on Tampa Bay to win both the National Football Conference and Super Bowl at odds of 60/1. When the news of Brady’s return to the sport broke and the odds fell to 25/1, the punter returned and laid down another bet.
“There’s not a doubt in my mind that they knew he was coming back when they placed those wagers on Thursday,” the VP told the Review. “And these were not casual bettors. They would be categorised as educated bettors.
“It wasn’t a guy with a Tom Brady jersey at the counter. It was a player that we would describe as sharp. With that type of play and the announcement we heard that he was unretiring, there was information that was shared prior to his official announcement.
“There is no doubt in my mind that information leaked sometime in the middle of last week. This is concerning. I don’t think I’ve ever said the NFL really needs to investigate something. But this is something they need to look into and how it got out, because there are many books that took some sizable wagers in the middle of last week.”
The repeal of PASPA in 2018 has resulted in the gambling industry rolling out in many states throughout the country, and American football has predictably become one of the most dominant betting markets.
this story first appeared in Insider Sport newsletter March 17