Monday, February 05, 2007

Hi-Tech Team Felled by Greed Again!

If you've been reading my blog, you've noticed how I constantly talk about how it takes more than just the sophisticated equipment to get the money out of casinos without ending up busted. And here once again is living proof of what I've been talking about. Read the story below about a hi-tech camera scam that beat Uk casinos out of several hundred grand only to get the perpetrators busted because they wanted too much too fast. I can tell you that I'm personally aware of just about every electronic-video-audio scam in existence, and believe me, this was a good one! If these three scammers had practiced better internal security and less greed, no telling how much casino cash they would have made. In any event, kudos to them for their efforts, and as in the UK cheating at gambling is not deemed so serious by the courts, they'll be back scamming the casinos in no time!


A team of gamblers used James Bond-style spy equipment to beat the odds in a highly sophisticated casino swindle, a court heard yesterday. The two men and a woman wired themselves with miniature cameras and communication devices during games of three-card poker in order to cheat casinos owners out of more than £250,000. In what was described as a "virtually foolproof" system, one of the team would secretly film the cards being dealt, another, in a van outside, would establish their identity and a third make bets based on the information.

The only flaw in their scam was that the trio, all of Chinese descent, were too successful. Casino managers realised that they must be cheating because they were winning too many hands.

The leader of the gang, Yau Lam, 45, a chef and experienced poker player, was jailed yesterday for nine months. His accomplices Fa Tsang, 41, and Bit Wong, 39, were also sentenced to nine months but their jail terms were suspended. They must complete 150 hours of community work. The sentencing judge said: "Between you, you constructed a sophisticated and unusual system. The result was a virtually foolproof advantage over the dealer which enabled you to walk away with thousands of pounds. But you were not so clever as you thought because eventually you were caught. (This is because of their greed) Southwark Crown Court heard that both Tsang and Wong would sit at the poker table while Lam was outside in a van. Tsang then used a micro-camera hidden up a sleeve or in a handbag to record the croupier dealing the cards. The images were beamed to Lam who, using hi-tech video equipment, slowed down the film and was able to identify the cards as they flew through the air on to the table. He then instructed Wong via a tiny transmitter in her ear on how to bet. Scotland Yard believes they may have netted more than £250,000 from casinos across the country. They were rumbled on Sept 13, 2005, when managers at the Mint Casino, in South Kensington, became suspicious of Wong's apparently extraordinary run of luck. Out of 44 "plays", she lost just 10 - well above statistical odds. In just 50 minutes she had amassed more than £6,000. The Metropolitan Police's Gaming Unit was called in and discovered the hidden devices the team were using. Tsang, 41, of Paddington, Lam, 45, of Edgware, and Wong, 39, of Swiss Cottage, all north-west London, pleaded guilty on Dec 12 to one count each of cheating at gaming. Derek Mather, prosecuting, said: "The use of such equipment is clearly an ill practice, which subverts the whole element of gambling and indeed skill within the game. All three were handed an "exclusion requirement" order which prohibits them from entering any casino for two years. Michael Hoskins, the director of security for Stanley Casinos, which owns the Mint, said: "I am pleased that our crime prevention systems were tested and were successful in detecting what for the UK casino industry was the first success against this type of electronic theft." What he didn't say was that had the three not been so greedy, they never would have caught them.


I am currently gathering data for my next post on improvements to online poker bots, which have been quite substantial since the release of my book "Dirty Poker." It should be up within two weeks.

Keep on pluggin'!