Hardly had BetUS.com (betus.com) opined to Broadcasting & Cable about the inherent problems in taking bets on taped TV reality shows Wednesday when the news came out that Sportsbook.com (www.sportsbook.com) had closed the book on CBS' Amazing Race.
The site tracked some irregular betting patterns on contestants Uchenna and Joyce, suggesting a possible leak of the outcome, according to the company.
The bets, all for the maximum allowed, were all placed from accounts in California and Massachusetts. No new bets are being taken on the show, though existing bets will be honored.
Because the results of reality contests are known to sworn-to-secrecy TV staffers, off-shore, online betting houses have to closely monitor betting patterns for signs of insider tip-offs. Reality shows try to protect confidentiality, sometimes with threats of big-money penalties for leaks, but the lure of easy online money is strong.
Reality fan gamblers can still place bets with Sportsbook.com on Survivor, American Idol and Apprentice.
BetUS.com is taking bets on NBC's The Contender--betting and boxing seemed a perfect fit, said a spokeswoman--though it, too, would halt the betting if it detected irregular betting patterns.