Friday, April 05, 2019

Dice Sliding...Let's get to the bottom of it...or top of it.

Did one of those aces slide?
I have often posted about ongoing and repetitive cheating scams that have no business being either. By that I mean they should neither be ongoing nor repetitive--but they are both. Lately, my articles on the subject have mostly been about cheating scams initiated by dealers and floor personnel, especially on baccarat tables.

But actually, the ongoing and repetitive scam that boggles my mind the most is on craps tables and it's called "dice-sliding."

We've all heard about it over and over again.
We've all read about it over and over again.
And many of us have seen it, perhaps not over and over again, but seen it.

So why then does this scam continue to be successful against so many casinos in so many jurisdictions?

To be honest, I don't know. And then again, you cannot apply logic to casino cheating, as I do know quite well since the majority of my casino cheating moves during a 25-year career absolutely defied logic and were successful mostly for that reason.

So, that said, because you have read and heard it over and over again, I am going to write one more time what dice-sliding is and how it can effectively be stopped.

Dice-sliding is when the shooter rolls the dice and one or both of them do not tumble end-over-end through the entire length of the roll. Therefore, it is an illegitimate roll.

What is a legitimate roll? Three things: 1) Both dice have to leave the shooter's hand at precisely the same time; 2) Both dice must tumble the entire length from the shooter's release until the end of the roll; 3) Both dice must hit the back wall and tumble back toward the shooter until they land.

It is THAT simple. If craps crews strictly enforce those three requirements on their games, dice-sliding can be almost but not 100% totally eliminated, in spite of the sliders' strategic positioning and diversionary bets at the table. Those dice-sliders who can overcome these enforced requirements...well, I guess we'll just have to let them.

Three important things to note. The first is that speed bumps and wires running across the craps table to prevent dice-sliding are as ridiculous as they are ugly, at least in my opinion. Good sliders can get by those obstacles simply by avoiding the dice contacting them. And too boot, if the dice hit the back wall and tumble back, the bumps and wires wouldn't matter even if they were effective.

The second thing, extremely important, is that once a "No Roll" is called by either the stickman or boxman (if boxmen exist in your casino), the stickman should immediately go out and knock his stick into one of the dice before it stops on a number. This action prevents the players at the table from seeing what number would have come out, and therefore prevents all kinds of problems and arguments between customers and casino personnel.

Just imagine one of your trusted high-rolling craps players with thousands of dollars on the layout when he has a big winner on a dice-slide that looked really good and legitimate. You might soon find yourself minus one big craps player!

And finally, note the difference between a legitimate tumble and a very good but illegitimate spin. Good sliders can tumble one of the dice while spinning the other in a fashion that makes it look like a legitimate tumble. In this action, the die spinning is rotating and gives the impression that is tumbling when it isn't.

Like Forest Gump says in the movie, "That's all I have to say about that."

And I will not write this article over and over again!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Watch Out for the Asian Dealer-Made-a-Mistake Baccarat Scam!

WATCH OUT!
Over the weekend I read an article about the Star Casino in Sydney, Australia suing a baccarat player from Singapore over A$43.2 million it says he owes in baccarat losses. The Singaporean gambler, Wong yew Choy, is not paying up, however.

Choy does not dispute he lost the money, but he does say that he lost the money only because the baccarat dealer on the game where he lost it made mistakes.

This story immediately reminded me of a current big-time baccarat scam out there. I do not know if Mr. Choy is using the same scam to try to defraud the Star Casino, but I do know a scam that several groups of high-limit baccarat players use to defraud casinos all over the world.

The "Asian" baccarat scam is not limited to Asian baccarat players, but I've been told it may have originated in Asia, and I know it is carried out all over the world, from major gambling capitals to US Tribal casinos.

Here's how it works:

These players always play in groups, and they are not hardcore cheats, but they will take huge shots at you if you give them the chance.

They play normally without cheating. They wait patiently for a dealer to make a mistake on the third-card rule, which does not happen often, but it does happen. For those of you Table Games people who have dealt or supervised baccarat, you know that the most common dealer error on the third-card rule is when the Bank hand is 3 and the Player hand hits a third-card 8. The Player hitting an 8 against the Bank 3 is the only time the Bank will stand after the Player takes a third card.

I myself, a former baccarat dealer, remember that I made more mistakes in that hand-situation than any other.

So...back to the baccarat group waiting for that mistake...It indeed comes but guess what?...they don't say a word, even if that third-card-draw error cost them money.

Instead, on the next hand, and with a sudden fury like a tidal wave, the entire group bets the maximum on either Player or Banker, all of them betting on the same side. They will hurriedly sign markers to get more chips if they don't have enough in front of them to make the maximum bet.

That next hand is dealt. If they win, great!

If they lose?

What do you think happens? Do you know?

Of course you know!

They claim the mistake the dealer had made on the previous hand. The Table Games supervisor asks them why they didn't claim the mistake when it happened. The group replies that they just realized it!

Sure! (sarcastic). If there's one thing I can tell you it's that these baccarat players know the third-card rule as well as any Table Games person who's been dealing and watching the game for 30 years!

So surveillance is called and the previous hand is reviewed, and sure enough the dealer mistakenly hit that banker hand of 3 after the player drew an eight. The floor supervisor immediately stops the game and instructs the dealer to rectify the amounts paid and taken on the previous hand in accordance with the surveillance review.

But wait one second! Do you think for another second that this high-rolling baccarat group is going to be satisfied with that?

Of course not!

So the lead player (these groups almost always have a lead player whose bets the others follow) declares that the mistake on the previous hand led to their losing this current hand, and therefore they want their lost money back.

Even if going back through the played cards shows that they still would have lost the big hand anyway, the group leader will claim that the whole karma of the shoe went bad because of the mistake, and that in their culture this is the same as the order of the cards being changed for the worse.

Of course the supervisor, and by now the shift manager who surely had arrived at the table, won't have any of this nonsense, but then the group throws them the malicious curveball.

The leader says, "If you don't give us the money back for that bad-karma hand, we will take our action elsewhere and never come back here again!

Voila!

Any Table Games executive's first thought might be to say to the group, "Go ahead and take your action somewhere else."

But on second thought, that executive may think, "Wait a minute! This group of big-time baccarat players is good for $ 2 million a year in losses." Then he or she looks at the table and sees 9 maximum bets of $10,000 each. So it's $90,000 the group wants returned to them.

Only $90,000.

So what does the casino do? The group's threat may be real, depending upon where this actually happens. If it happens in Macau or Las Vegas, where they can play high-stakes baccarat in dozens of different casinos, sure as hell they can get up all pissed-off and you never see them again.

But if you happen to be the only high-stakes baccarat casino within a few light years, you can call their bluff.

I have witnessed this ugly scam firsthand one time. I will not name the casino, but they sure as shit refunded the money.

So, how do you protect yourself from this? The first thing is reduce your dealers' third-card-rule mistakes as much as humanly possible.

How do you do that? You make sure that your best baccarat dealers are on the games and that the ones learning break into these games slowly, by dealing significant periods of time on slower, lower action games.

Beware of this scam!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Rash of Cheating and Stealing incidents at Vancouver, B.C. Casinos

Evidently, casinos in the beautiful Canadian province of British Columbia are having some compliance problems with cheating and other unlawful incidents. This is the second wave of such incidents that I can remember.

Parq Casino Vancouver
The first incident, of course, was another clumsy yet effective insider-dealer cheating scam that saw three dealers on card games at the Parq Casino passing off chips to their player agents, netting some $120,000. The dealers were fired and formally charged with crimes.

The second incident, again no surprise, was a case of money laundering at the River Rock Casino. No details were given except that the crimes date back to 2017.

A third incident was, however, a bit surprising. Apparently some former River Rock dealers have gone into business for themselves, but not the usual way by cheating in collusion against the house. These enterprising dealers decided to open up their own casino! Which, of course, is illegal. Their casino was duly raided.

Back at the Parq casino, a worker from Coquitlam's Hard Rock Casino was caught using phony chips to obtain cash. I don't know if he was arrested, but the Hard Rock Casino did fire him.

And, finally...and thankfully, the last two incidents reported, believe it or not, were the theft of a cigarette lighter and cigarettes by one Chances Casino employee from another, and the theft of two chocolate bars from a concession stand by a Penticton gaming employee.

My take: Well, if Vancouver Casinos can cut this rash of dishonest incidents to just stealing cigarettes and chocolate bars, that might be an acceptable result!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

2nd Major Advantage-Play Win Recorded at Online Casino..Major Stuff!.

Golden but Beatable!
I bet nearly everyone out there has believed and still believes that, apart from hacking, there is no way to beat online non-poker casino games.

Is everyone right?

Absolutely not!

Since Super Bowl weekend 2019, two online casino games offered by New Jersey online casinos have been beat hard, brick-and-mortar-casino style.

They are the Golden Egypt game and the Ocean Magic game. And the take between the two online casino beatings, ,engineered by the same group of advantage players who play both in B&M and online casinos, totalled some $1.5 million.

So how did this happen?

The same reasons that make some table games in B&M casinos beatable: mainly the games' designers, sometimes advantage players themselves, overlooking the true odds of a game and not doing the mathematics.

This does not happen often but it does happen. The biggest B&M casino example of this is when professional gambler Don Johnson saw a huge advantage-play opportunity on Atlantic City blackjack games. He simply calculated that casino rebates to induce big-action play made the game of blackjack vulnerable to advantage play, shifting the odds in his favor.

Johnson ended up beating Atlantic City casinos for a cool $15 million before they wised up.

My suggestion to games designers and casino operations...DO THE MATH!

Read the article about this here.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

NFL Star Adam "Pacman" Jones to Plead Guilty to Casino-Cheating...Wow!

NFL Casino Cheat Pacman Jones
Wow! I understand he allegedly threatened to kill an Indiana Gaming Commission officer, which is not to be taken lightly, but still I can't believe a star athlete is actually pleading guilty to a felony over a casino cheating charge. Just less than a year ago, ex-NBA star Charles Oakley was arrested in a Las Vegas casino for allegedly cheating the same way Pacman Jones was,,,pastposting, bet-capping and pinching bets (removing or reducing losing bets before the dealer takes them), but pleaded to a misdemeanor and walked.

In both cases, the chips involved in the casino crimes were black $100 chips.

There have been several cases of star athletes cheating in casinos, most of them not prosecuted. Why do they do it? I don't believe it is often related to compulsive gambling or a desperate financial situation. I think rather it has more to do with ego than anything else. Sometimes celebrity stardom goes to professional athletes' heads, and those who are famous in violent sports like boxing and American football may be more prone to these types of incidents.

As far as jail time for Pacman Jones, I'm not sure I understand the article correctly, but it appears he will be sentenced to 545 days for the cheating-at-gambling charge and 365 days for resisting arrest and battery on a person, but all but 14 days of both sentences will be suspended, thus Pacman will only spend 28 days in jail and be ready for the 2019 NFL season.

Friday, March 22, 2019

These Macau Multi-Personnel-Driven-Casino-Scams are ridiculous but they seem to work way too long before being discovered

Zape District of Macau
I keep reading about these scams and remain incredulous as to how and why they keep working. I understand that Macau has tons of huge action and that properly monitoring it all can be difficult, but as well I have read articles saying their surveillance rooms are staffed with much more people per gaming table than anywhere else in the world, and that they are extremely professional and capable people.

I am not saying they're not. I have poured over pages that attest to great credentials for the majority of Macau surveillance directors, but shouldn't their departments be quicker to pick up on some of these ridiculous scams? Or maybe they're just not getting enough help from Table Games on the floor. Or maybe some of the accounts I am reading about these scams are not accurate.

If anyone knows more about the scam I write about below, please let us know.

I read that one un-named casino in the Zape sector of Macau, which has smaller casinos than the main Casino Strip there, was victimized by no less than 5 current or former employees in a chip-fraud scam that netted HK$ 2.5 million before it was busted. The insider cheat team consisted of two surveillance people, two dealers and one PR person.

If I understood this right, their player agent(s) came to the gaming tables and ostensibly changed single HK$ 10,000 chips for ten HK$ 1,000 chips but were given ten HK$ 10,000 chips by the dealers instead, ripping the casino off for HK$ 90,000 each time. Apparently this fraud happened at least 20 times since January when the casino opened.

The scam finally came apart when casino staff (not sure which staff) reviewed surveillance records and then discovered one of the player/agents was wearing a wig.

Wow! This should have been discovered sooner no matter what the appearance of the player/agent was.

Again, I am not sure that this scam went down the way I read it did, but if it did, the fact that it happened in Zape and not the Cotai Strip does not minimize the ramifications of it.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

If You Think Cruise Ship Casinos Take Surveillance Lightly...Think Again!

BEWARE OF THEIR SURVEILLANCE DEPT!
Many people, lots of them casino cheats and advantage players, seem to think that cruise-ship Surveillance Departments are not up to par with those working at land-based casinos. I don't know why this belief exists; perhaps it's because of the party atmosphere found aboard these ships, or some other reasons having to do with jurisdiction, regulatory issues or whatever.

But don't be fooled!

This belief is as false as a fifth-suit playing card!

I have trained two cruise-ship lines surveillance departments. I found each of them as experienced and knowledgeable as the most efficient land-based casinos worldwide, including those in Las Vegas.

In fact, one of them I have very recently trained, a melange of dedicated people from at least 4 different continents, meshed together like a well-trained intelligence agency. These international people have seen various scams bred in various countries and are as sharp as they come!

And this sharpness comes from the top. At Norwegian Cruise Line I immediately noted the relationship between the Surveillance Director and his staff. He was hands-on all the way, and exhibited great patience while helping me reinforce some of the finer points of high-level casino-cheating moves. His people were quite receptive of him, and of me as well. They were already knowledgeable about lots of sophisticated cheating scams and humble enough to want to learn more. One guy in the department was so eager to talk about this stuff that he cornered me in the hotel lobby hours after the training and made viable suggestions on how to detect advanced high-level card-counting teams that I profiled in the class.

And if that were not enough, the senior vice president walked in in the middle of the training and gave a short speech filled with praise and appreciation for his staff that even motivated me! This was a rare event and a pleasure to witness.

And to those of you who work or worked for Carnival Cruise Line when I trained there, I have not forgotten you. When I met some seventy people from the Carnival Surveillance staff, including their Fleet Surveillance Director, I found a very similar situation with very capable people from each continent who are very dedicated to their work.

So...Casino Cheats and Advantage Players:

BEWARE OF CRUISE-SHIP SURVEILLANCE DEPARTMENTS!

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

More Bad Publicity for MGM National Harbor concerning Casino Cheating

More anti-cheating legislation problems in Maryland 
I recently blogged about an article on Maryland state legislators trying to get laws into the book that make cheating casino table games a crime. I, like many other people in all facets of the casino business--including active casino cheats--was quite surprised to learn that casino cheating on table games has no current place in Maryland's criminal statutes, which means that anyone caught cheating a table game in any Maryland casino has nothing more to worry about than simply being thrown out and barred from the casino.

My blog brought to light the obvious threat to Maryland's casinos brought on by making public knowledge of Maryland's vulnerability to casino cheats. Surely, many cheats of all levels and abilities would take advantage of "riskless shots" against the state's casinos. This means that some serious casino-cheating felonies on Las Vegas gaming tables that would bring certain prison time to offenders currently goes unpunished by the law in Maryland.

Now more facts, damaging ones, are coming out of MGM's National Harbor casino. First off, an MGM representative has told state legislators that more than 60% of all cheating incidents recorded at all the MGM properties worldwide happens at the company's Maryland property.

That is an astounding number!

And no doubt the reason behind it is that casino cheats have been launching an assault against Maryland's casinos. They are coming in droves and taking their shots with nothing more to lose than being tossed out.

MGM National Harbor's surveillance director, Michael Ruggiano, told the House Ways and Means Committe that the Bellagio and Aria casinos in Las Vegas caught a combined total of six casino cheats in 2018 while the MGM National Harbor had some 153 incidents during the same year.

That is another staggering fact!

According to National Harbor's vice president of government affairs, Kerry Watson, there are blogs online that identify Maryland's casinos as a place where cheats can have their "free shots" cheating table games. This, in my mind, is tantamount to encouraging casino cheating in the state's casinos.

What makes all this even more confusing is that the Committee wants more information from the MGM concerning the actual financial losses suffered by the property due to cheating and the MGM seems unwilling to supply that information. The MGM has been pushing the new criminalizing-cheating bills as a way for the state not to lose tax revenues, and the Committee seems to agree, but the fact that the MGM does not want to quantify the amount lost to casino cheats, and the Committee is bewildered by this as it knows that the MGM has all the cheating incidents recorded on video yet cannot or will not provide the figure of the total loss is confusing.

However, Kerry Watson did admit that the reason for the MGM's reluctance is simply that it doesn't want to publicize the figure for fear that doing so would provoke more casino cheats to come to what would be further perceived as a "cheating destination."

Maryland delegate Eric Ebersole said to Watson, “You have the evidence here, you can see these people cheating, so you know how much they won. You’ve cited 153 cases. In those 153 cases, before you ask these people to leave, how much did they take from you in total for the year?"

“The dollar amount is what we’re really interested in here,” Ebersole added, “because one of the problems is that we’re losing money earmarked for education."

That's when Watson told Ebersole that MGM doesn’t want to publicize a dollar figure because it could draw even more attention to MGM National Harbor and the state as a cheating destination. Ebersole replied, “It would help us, though, if we had an idea on the magnitude of this problem. It would help us decide if this is serious enough to give people criminal records, misdemeanors, and felonies for the crimes they are committing.”

By not providing the figures that Ebersole wants, the MGM did not help its cause last Friday. The legislation pertains to crimes that increase in severity based on specific dollar amounts.

Finally, the casino admitted it wasn’t as well prepared when pushing the measure last year.

My take: Hopefully the proposed bill will advance soon, before the ongoing legislative session ends in April. If it doesn't, the MGM National Harbor and the rest of Maryland's casinos are in for another long casino-cheating year.
   

Friday, February 22, 2019

Interesting Insider $3 Million Baccarat Cheating Scam in Australia

Unidentified Baccarat Cheat in Australia
Over a ten-day period in July, 2016 at the Star Casino in Sydney, Australia, two unidentified baccarat players won some $3 million at the baccarat tables. Soon afterwards, they were charged, along with an unidentified baccarat dealer, of a collusion cheating scam that allegedly allowed them to win the money. The dealer was accused of manipulating the cards by "sleight of hand" so that he could see their values and then signalling those values to the two players who used the information to be able to bet with a large advantage.

According to reports, bet they did! Their maximum bets reached $250,000.

What makes this case more interesting than most cheating cases in the plethora of insider baccarat scams is that the court apparently agreed that the cheating took place the way the prosecution said it did but acquitted them and let them walk with the $3 million because somehow "no particular person had been deceived by their actions."

What the heck does that mean!

So if I understand this correctly, a dealer and two players scammed the Star Casino for $3 million by way of the dealer illicitly signalling the values of the cards to the players, who, based on that information, made their bets and won three million bucks!

How can this not be cheating worthy of a guilty verdict? Who the hell cares that no particular person was deceived by the cheating? How does that matter? The victim is clearly the casino, not any person, therefore this is a slam-dunk casino-cheating conviction.

Well, the outcome of this trial, whose verdict the prosecution will appeal, will not do much good for Australian and Pacific Rim casinos. Already plagued by insider baccarat scams for nearly two decades now, this ridiculous decison sends a bad message that will probably make more victims out of more casinos in that part of the world.

The message is simply: if you cheat by collusion in an Australian casino and get caught, there is a plausible way out of it by claiming no casino employee in particular was victimized, or whatever other excuse there might be.

Ridiculous!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

WILLY ALLISON WANTS TO STRIP CASINO TABLE GAMES OF THEIR CHIPS!

Max Rubin pushing Chipless Blackjack
The last thing I want to do is talk about Willy Allison. And I would not be doing so, but I stumbled upon his recent podcast interview with GBB Magazine, and at the very end of it, Allison spoke of an article he wrote for GGB.

It's about Allison's idea that all casinos should do away with casino chips. That instead of using chips, casinos should convert all their gaming tables into digital playlands for a bunch of reasons that he mentioned on the podcast. I have not even read the article, and I don't need to. I already know it is terribly insulting to the industry, especially to craps and roulette dealers and personnel.
 In short, what Allison said on the podcast makes me personally sick!

Where do I begin to debunk this idea? Okay, let's start off with turning casinos into full-scale behemoth electronic and slot joints. We already have online gaming, no chips. We already have electronic table games, no chips. We already have stadium table games, no chips.

Isn't that enough? So now do we take these beautiful megaresorts in Las Vegas and Asia and turn them into a barren desert of more digital images buzzing across table-games layouts? Oh...maybe we should get rid of the felt layouts too!

Are we going to completely remove the art and beauty of casino table games that real gambling aficionados adore? I don't know about you, but to me the most beautiful thing to see AND hear in a casino are the sights and sounds of skilled craps dealers chip-handling while making payouts, especially that dexterity they display when peeling, cutting and jutting chips on the place and bar bets and then laying them on the layout for the players to collect.

I even like the action of players throwing odd chips across the felt to the dealers to pay the commissions. It gives even more rhythm to the game.

Can you even imagine a craps table without chips? That is a church without an altar. It's already bad enough that Craps has lost its boxmen. Would craps dealers also be losing their jobs if this unsightly image became reality?

And almost as pleasant to see as a smooth craps dealer is a smooth roulette dealer...sliding, turning and maneuvering a dozen or more stacks of roulette chips to players with the same swiftness as if their hand was empty...yes "hand." The best of them do it all with one hand, something to be appreciated.

 And what about the enduring image of jammed-up roulette games with empire-state stacks of chips straight-up on the numbers all over the layout? Is that not a majestic sight?

So, as you can see, it's bad enough for the casino side. For the players' side it's just as bad. 

No table-games chips means poker players sitting at their poker games with no chips to shuffle, swivel, stack, break down and the countless other things they do with their chips that I don't have adequate verbs for.

Back to the craps tables with no chips in the racks. Imagine hot streaks when players are rolling the dice for 40 minutes with everyone at the table's chip rack swelling horizontally in multi-colored rainbow likeness. Do we really want to get rid of that?

To me, a person who has done quite a few things with casino chips over the years (and I don't mean to be facetious), the sounds those chips make when I shake them together in my hands is sweet music. I really mean that. And, believe it or not, the higher-denomination chips, $500 and above, actually make a sweeter sound than the others due to the less wear on them. High rollers would surely miss that, and their attitude would be as negative to no-chips as it is to continuous card shufflers on blackjack tables.

Alright, Willy Allison is no idiot, so obviously he has some reasons for wanting to do away with casino chips on table games. Of course you already know that Allison's prime reason is the bottom line. He says on the podcast that without chips the games will move faster, the casinos can keep faster track of the action with much more accuracy, and mentions that the whole world is going digital, so why not casinos?

Well, I'll tell you what, Willy...some things in the entertainment world beg to be gotten rid of. One thing that comes to mind is doing away with the four-pitch walk in baseball. Of course no baseball fan is going to miss seeing those four pitches deliberately thrown outside the strike zone, not even the most diehard fan.

But throw out casino chips? If I were still active in casinos, I'd start a riot!

So shame on you, Willy! You're not nuts, as you said on the podcast that many table-games people would consider you, but your idea is stark and heartless and comes from not having any rapport with what is both integral to REAL casinos and their customers (I will not say brick and mortar cause that's heartless as well) and even part of their integrity--that is chips!

CHIPS AHOY!

Of course Allison speaks of the game protection factor with chipless casinos.

He says that there will be no chip counterfeiting...True. Hey says that there will be no chip pastposting...True.

He does not, however, mention that there will also be no soul, no core, virtually no casino.

And I might add that even though what he says about counterfeiting chips and pastposting chips is true, in no way does that mean there will be no cheating. No digital facet of any kind is invulnerable to cheating and manipulation. This has been proved time and again, and, in fact, the scams targeting digital and electronic forms of gambling cost casinos a lot more money than those perpetrated by good ol' fashioned chips.

So what's next, Willy?...Cards?...Dice?...

Or just another bad idea?

Just stick to your constant claim that "casinos are not doing or spending enough on security."

That idea is not so bad.