Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Roulette Tables To Fight Cheats

Roulette tables may get touch screens to combat cheating!

If Microsoft's "Surface" becomes a casino fixture next to the slot machines, the touch-screen table computer will find plenty of company. Not only are digital poker tables being developed--complete with "peel up" card corners so players can read their hands discreetly--but even touch-sensitive roulette games are on the way.

There have been attempts in the past to develop "pastpost free" roulette tables, but those failed mainly because the added protection brought along with it too many inconveniences, such as alarms going off when players innocently reached over the layout to lend a cigarette lighter or shake a hand while the table´s anti-pastposting device was activated to catch roulette players´ hands on the layout when they weren´t supposed to be there, mainly after the dealer had already marked the winning number with the dolly, at which time any hands entering the layout were detected as possible cheat tools. Similar to radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, this latest "safe casino play" invention should be more successful than its forebearers, but as RFID technology has been very slow to catch on worldwide in casinos, we will have to wait and see just how much a pain in the...hand...these touch screen roulette tables will be.

The "MultiPlay Roulette" system is the latest from Sweden's TouchTable, featuring a 56-inch touch LCD with 3,840 × 2,160 resolution. The table can accommodate up to seven players and, thanks to the company's proprietary technology, it can identify each person's bet.

Like other digital casino products, the idea is to speed the pace of play and reduce the chances of discrepancies or cheating. Because, as some of us have learned painfully over the years, fast play always favors the house.

To read a magazine article I wrote on RFID technology in casinos, click here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bodog Signs Another Poker Cheat!

Bodog Signs Reformed Justin Bonomo!

It seems to be par for the course: Get caught in an online poker scam, then say you´re sorry, apologize to everyone and his mother reading the poker blogs, then sign a deal for big bucks with a major online poker room. Such is the case again, this time with Justin Bonomo, better known as "ZeeJustin" who was caught cheating by playing on multiple accounts on sites like PartyPoker and PokerStars. (To read more on previous online cheats who signed big poker deals, click here.

Oh how I wish I had been caught cheating at online poker! Then I could have signed a big contract with Bodog too! Only problem, I was never an online poker cheat. In my next life, I will have to consider changing professions!

As reported by Jennifer Newell:

On May 5th, 2008, Bodog Poker announced that it had signed Justin Bonomo to its roster of pros, which already includes David Williams, Jean-Robert Bellande, and Evelyn Ng. Justin will represent Bodog both in live tournaments and online at Bodog, as well as possibly participating in other marketing and branding opportunities.

Poker pros ink deals regularly with online poker sites. Why is this one significant and worthy of a column? Because Justin is the Justin Bonomo, better known as “ZeeJustin” in online poker circles—the player who was caught cheating by playing on multiple accounts on sites like PartyPoker and PokerStars. And though he didn't handle the scandal well when it happened—he was not even 21 years old—he has since matured, taken particular care to address the problem, and changed.

When the scandal first broke in early 2006, Justin was not afraid to post on web forums with his excuses and justifications for using multiple accounts. He claimed that he did so because his style under “ZeeJustin” was too wellknown, and he needed to be anonymous in order to win more money. Granted, that is a simplification of his reasons for the sake of space in this column.

Eventually, the wrath he felt from the poker community caused Justin to realize the impact of what he had done, and his justifications turned to apologies. In his immaturity, he even attempted to strike a deal with PokerStars that would allow him to play on the site for several months, with all proceeds going to charity. “For me, the benefits are obvious,” he wrote to PokerStars. “I would get to play on your site again and return some credibility to my name, but more importantly, I see this as a way to become the person I've always told myself I would be. This won't be a one-time thing. This is how I want to live the rest of my life… Basically, I realize that what I've done is terrible, but I

refuse to accept the fact that those actions define me as a person. I see this as a way to overcome what I've done, not as a poker player, or a wanna-be celebrity, but as a human being.”

The site ultimately denied his request. Justin then took his poker skills to the live tables once he became of legal age to play in the United States. He played tournaments humbly and quietly, not drawing any attention to himself. He allowed time to heal wounds, and in the year and a half that he has been on the circuit, he has eventually gained the respect of many poker players who have seen his remorse and witnessed his true love of the game.

What makes Justin different from recent players involved in cheating scandals, like Sorel Mizzi and JJ Prodigy, is that he grew to understand the severity of his previous actions and let some time pass as he carefully repaired his image. Though he's still in his very early twenties, he seems to have matured immensely. Players like Mizzi seem to expect immediate acceptance of whatever apology is issued, and they come to tournaments as cocky and full of themselves as ever. As basic as it may seem, people need time to accept apologies and see another side of those players, and Mizzi is one of several who do not seem to understand this.

Justin Bonomo has become a successful live tournament player, with final tables at EPT and WSOP events to his credit, as well as several near-televised WPT tables. He has made over $1.1 million in his short time on the circuit, and the Bodog sponsorship appears to be a positive step in his journey.

Historic Rigged Roulette Cheating Wheel Found In Reno!

X-Ray Reveals What’s Inside Rigged Roulette Wheel!

We're a state built on gaming, but the thing about gambling is it also attracts cheaters. Monday, the University of Nevada Medical School helped out with a cheating scam no agent with the Gaming Control Board has seen before.

"We've heard stories over the years, we've read about it but we've never seen one - it's in the league with DB Cooper, Bigfoot and UFO's," said Jim Edwards a senior agent with the Gaming Control Board.

The wooden wheel spent 70 years in a Sacramento-area garage.

A Reno couple bought it and learned it had a series of wires hidden inside. The wires were hooked up to four batteries wrapped in newspapers from the "Sacramento Bee" dating to December 31, 1932.

"And I said, 'Oh my God! We have a gaffed table,'" said owner Sharon Nickson Cox, "And to the best of our knowledge it's the only one in the world today that hasn't been destroyed by the mob or the feds."

But learning how it works could only be accomplished with the help of X-ray. "We originally thought maybe it was operated with magnets with the batteries, but we believe now it was a mechanical device - maybe a little pin came out of the side that would make the ball drop," said Cox.

And although any crime would have happened some 80 years ago (likely in California), the Nevada Gaming Control Board is still curious, "We like to have accurate information in our files as to what happens, what has happened historically," said Edwards.

Because as they say, history repeats itself.

The roulette wheel originally sold for $250 in the 1920's. Today, it's appraised for $250,000.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Blackjack Cheat Snagged Cheating Church Blackjack Game!

Blackjack cheating your local church! I have heard of lows but that is about the lowest of all of them. Even I have never cheated at a church blackjack game! Cheating at a party blackjack nite, that´s one thing...but a church...that´s a sin! Well, I´m glad the guy got caught. It turns out he was a card-mucker, palming cards (aces and tens) out of play and putting them back in when he needed them. Here´s what happened:

WHEN THE KING of diamonds and the ace of spades kept coming up winners in Roland "Rico" Chapa's blackjack hands last year, a dealer at the church festival called in the pit boss.

Other players at the table accused Chapa, a 67-year-old used-car dealer, of palming the cards from the deck.

Now, Chapa's 30-year lucky streak as a self-described bookmaker and "gangster" might be over after a Franklin County jury convicted him of cheating, a felony in Ohio for those like Chapa with a previous gambling conviction or someone who tries to corrupt the outcome of a bet of more than $500.

Money changed hands so fast at the St. Timothy Church fundraiser on July 14 that no one remembers how many hands Chapa played before pit boss Rob Gardner called him a cheat, said Assistant County Prosecutor Amanda Lowe.

Then festival organizers called authorities.

Lowe called five witnesses on Friday to prove the rarely-used criminal code before Common Pleas Judge Richard S. Sheward. One said a two of spades dropped from Chapa's slacks when he stood up to empty his pockets.

Chapa testified that he is a diabetic who drank too much that night and was left behind by two buddies. He said he walked into the festival with $650 and left with $450.

"I actually lost money that night. I told them (deputies) if the Catholics wanted more money, I'd have given them the $400 I had and kept $50 for a cab," he said in an interview before the verdict.

Chapa said sheriff's detectives have been after him for 10 years.

"They wanted me to rat out other bookmakers, and I don't know any."

Instead of arresting him, deputies called a cab and sent Chapa packing.

Chapa, who wore a white suit, black shirt and gold alligator belt buckle, seemed relaxed about his chances. When asked how long he has gambled, he replied, "Can I take the Fifth on that?"

It took a jury less than 30 minutes to convict him yesterday of cheating and possession of criminal tools. Sheward set sentencing for Aug. 6; Chapa faces up to two years in prison for the hustle. His daughter Katrina said authorities have harassed Chapa for more than 30 years.

"We will immediately appeal this," she said.

Defense attorney Lewis T. Dye told jurors that his client was too drunk to cheat.

"They waited six months after his last arrest to bring this case," said Dye, whose father has represented Chapa in earlier gambling cases.

Chapa's apartment at 6998 Sawmill Village Dr. on the Northwest Side was raided in 2007 as a sports bookmaking operation, the sheriff's office says. He agreed to plead to one count of gambling.

According to a search warrant, an investigation found that Chapa met customers at area sports bars and offered to take their bets for a 10 percent service charge.

Bets also were placed at the car lot where Chapa works.

An affidavit used to obtain the warrant said Chapa told a detective that he had been a bookmaker and "gangster" for more than 30 years.

Computerworld Magazine Uses Online Poker To Demonstrate Rampant Insider Cheating In The Business World

Computerworld article:

When determining the risk to a system and the data stored on it, insider threats are generally regarded as lower risk. Despite the complete access (high risk) that insiders generally have, most of the time insiders are trusted agents (very low risk) on the network. When it breaks down, it can break down in a catastrophic manner, especially if there is money at stake.

One such incident took place in the middle of last year when one or more individuals with trusted access to the systems of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker used that access to create several fake usernames and used them to make an undisclosed amount of money off online poker players. While creating the fake player accounts may not necessarily be cheating, it was the use of software that allowed the insiders to view the competing players' hole cards which was.

Absolute Poker was fined $500,000 in January for four breaches of the gaming commission's rules, three of which were for inaction or attempt to cover up the incident by the site. In addition to the fine, Absolute Poker will be subject to random auditing over the next 24 months, at their expense.

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Scientists build robot that can replicate itselfWill gadgets make knowledge obsolete?Five things you should never tell your bossIT pro's vacation planner: Must you unplug to unwind?Thieves steal tapes holding 2.2M billing recordsSearch for articles like this oneOn the positive side for the affected human players, it was found that Absolute Poker had acted to refund losses and taken steps to prevent similar action in the future.

Online poker playing has always been surrounded by the whispers of cheating when it comes to the actions of other players at the table and ongoing investigations with Absolute Poker turned up a more serious cheating scheme that had been operational for 21 months, completely encompassing the above incident, but unrelated.

When big money is on the virtual table for playing a card game across the Internet, people are going to be motivated to do what they can to weight the odds in their favor. At the $1.2 million 2007 World Championship of Online Poker, managed by PokerStars, the first place finisher was disqualified for cheating (believed to have been multiple accounts active at the same time to improve chances of winning, though at $2,500 per buy-in the cheating is believed to be somewhat more substantial).
Questions should now be asked about the sale of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, given that the cheating was shown to have been ongoing from before the sale (October 2006) and that the individuals involved were shown to be linked to the company prior to the sale. With potentially multi-million dollar losses, fines, and refunds liable to be paid out there may be a case to be made against the previous owners.

New Florida Casino Cheats Candy Store Ready For Cheat Action!

Today the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel-Casino near Hollywood, Florida, expanded its casino to include a host of table games including blackjack, roulette, craps and poker carnival games such as Caribbean Stud, Pai Gow Poker and others. Before today´s dramatic changeover, the Seminole Hard Rock Casino was strictly a poker room facility. What does this mean as far as cheating is concerned?

Well, I´ll tell you this: If I were still a cheating man, I would be on the next plane to Fort Lauderdale, then driving my rental car to the Hard Rock Casino. Then I would run to the first new table game I saw, pop in a cheat move, then another and another...until I was too tired to stand in the casino!

As many of you might know from reading my book "American Roulette," new casinos (which the Hard Rock qualifies as since it is new to casino table games) are extremely vulnerable to professional cheating teams, and the Hard Rock is going to get hit...and hit hard! I have often stated that the only way I would ever come out of retirement to cheat casinos is if legalized gambling came to Miami Beach. Well, the Seminole Hardrock Cafe Casino is in South Florida, but it´s still just a few miles away from a Richard Marcus encore!

I have read articles in Florida´s newspapers this week about how the Hard Rock has been training its dealers at dealers schools to combat the cheaters. Well, I wish them a lot of luck!...And this whole event reminds me of Foxwoods in Connecticut when it opened back in ´92 and of the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast when casinos opened there that same year...Oh what bloodbaths they were for my cheating team! By blood, I mean rushing swells of $500 and $1,000 chips pouring into our pockets!!

I will keep you current on all the cheating action I hear about in Hollywood.

Swiss National Newspaper Article on Richrad Marcus

For those of you who don`t read German, this is a news article about me that appeared in Switzerland´s national newspaper, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. I was quite surprised to see that the Swiss are so interested in the life of a casino cheater, but I guess with the tremendous box office success of the blackjack movie "21," the whole world is enraptured by stories of how people beat casinos. If you want to read a very similar article in English, read this FHM article about my casino cheating career.

Die Abkürzung zur ersten MillionPräzises Timing, Psychologie und ein bisschen Mumm. Ein Amerikaner, der mit Betrug am Roulettetisch 20 Millionen Dollar verdient haben will, verrät seinen besten Trick. Von Andreas HirsteinToolboxDruckansicht

Fenster schliessen
«Pat war ein liebenswürdiger Kerl − ausser, dass Pat ein Dieb war, ein Dieb wie ich», sagt Richard Marcus. Über zehn Jahre lang betrogen die beiden Amerikaner mit weiteren Komplizen die grossen Kasinos dieser Welt: Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Monte Carlo, Baden-Baden. «Insgesamt haben wir 20 Millionen Dollar kassiert, bis ich mich an Silvester 1999 zur Ruhe gesetzt habe», behauptet Marcus, der heute wieder in seiner Heimat New Jersey und in Saint-Gervais am Fusse des Montblanc lebt.
Marcus war der Kopf der Bande: «Ich war der , wie wir es nannten. Rien ne va plus! − für Richard Marcus begann das Spiel so richtig erst mit diesem Satz. Marcus hatte die geschicktesten Hände. Von ihm stammten auch die Ideen für immer neue Betrugsvarianten. «Als in den achtziger Jahren über jedem Spieltisch Überwachungskameras angebracht wurden, war ich besessen von der Idee, die Technik zu überlisten. Und das habe ich auch geschafft: Mein -Spielzug ist der beste Kasino-Trick aller Zeiten. Da können Sie jeden Experten in der Branche fragen.»
Anzeige Das richtige TimingEin guter Betrüger, das ist nach Marcus' Definition immer auch ein netter Mensch. «Man braucht das richtige Timing, und man braucht Mumm. Aber vor allem muss man sympathisch wirken − so wie Pat», sagt Marcus. «Ich mochte ihn, alle mochten ihn, vor allem die Frauen. Und als er schliesslich auch am Spieltisch gut wurde, haben wir die Kasinos nur so ausgenommen.»
Insgesamt habe er fast 25 Jahre lang vom Betrug an den Roulette-, Black-Jack- und Baccara-Tischen dieser Welt gelebt. «Aber ich habe eigentlich mein ganzes Leben lang gezockt. Sein erstes grosses Geld verdiente er mit Pferdewetten. 20 000 Dollar. Das war sein Ticket nach Las Vegas. Im Hotel-Casino Riviera nahm er ein Zimmer, und er gewann. Nach einer Woche hatte er 100 000 Dollar. Doch der neue Reichtum zerrann schneller, als Marcus ihn angesammelt hatte. In einer einzigen Nacht verlor er alles. Als er die Hotelrechnung nicht mehr bezahlte, landete er auf der Strasse. Ohne Geld, ohne Job und ohne Ausbildung. Von seinen New Yorker Freunden wollte ihm niemand Geld leihen, und seine Eltern wollten nichts mehr von ihm wissen.
Nach ein paar Wochen ergatterte er einen Job im Four-Queens-Kasino. Nach zehn Monaten setzte sich ein Mann an Marcus' Baccara-Tisch. Er nannte sich Joe Classon, kam ebenfalls von der Ostküste und fragte Marcus, warum er das Kasino nicht bestehle − so wie alle anderen Angestellten. «Ich wolle meinen Job nicht wegen ein paar 5-Dollar-Chips gefährden, antwortete ich.»
Trotzdem trafen sich die beiden Männer nach Feierabend, und Marcus liess sich zu seinem ersten Betrug überreden. Jeweils am Ende seines Dienstes präparierte er den Kartenstapel, so dass Classon in der folgenden Schicht abkassieren konnte. Das funktionierte so gut, dass sich Marcus für eine Karriere als professioneller Betrüger entschied. Er kündigte seinen Job und wurde festes Mitglied in Joe Classons Betrügerbande.
«Joe hat mir alle seine Tricks beim gezeigt. Dabei verändert man seinen Wetteinsatz, wenn das Spiel schon entschieden ist. Er hat mir auch beigebracht, wie wichtig die Psychologie ist. Jedes Gehirn ist manipulierbar. Glauben Sie mir, sogar Einstein würde auf unsere Tricks reinfallen», sagt Marcus.
In einem seiner erfolgreichsten Spielzüge arbeitete Marcus in einem vierköpfigen Team: Er selbst, der als Mechaniker die eingesetzten Chips vertauscht; eine schöne Frau, die den Gewinn für sich reklamiert, und zwei Hilfs-Wetter, deren Aufgabe es ist, den Croupier für den Bruchteil einer Sekunde abzulenken.
Alle vier Teammitglieder beziehen zunächst ihre Position am Tisch. Die Frau besitzt zunächst fünf 100-Dollar-Chips. Einen tauscht sie gegen 100 1-Dollar-Chips ein und baut damit fünf Stapel vor sich auf. In den hintersten Stapel mischt sie zwei 100-Dollar-Chips und übergibt unbemerkt zwei weitere an den Mechaniker, der nun ebenfalls einen gemischten Stapel zusammenstellt.
Der Croupier kann die gemischten Stapel jedoch nicht sehen, weil sie hinter den niederwertigen Stapeln verborgen sind. Jetzt setzt die Spielerin jeweils fünf 1-Dollar-Chips auf neun unterschiedliche Zahlen. Falls eine dieser Zahlen gewinnt, tauscht der Mechaniker den entsprechenden Stapel durch den mit 100-Dollar-Chips «angereicherten» gemischten Stapel aus. Dies gelingt unbemerkt, weil der Croupier für den Bruchteil einer Sekunde wegsehen muss, wenn er die strategisch placierten Einsätze der Hilfs-Wetter abräumt.
Psycho-Verwirrspiel«Bis hierhin ist alles reine Mechanik», sagt Marcus. «Das genügt aber nicht. Der Croupier würde misstrauisch, wenn plötzlich 100-Dollar-Chips im Gewinnstapel auftauchen. Er würde sich weigern, den Gewinn auszuzahlen, ohne die Videoaufnahmen zu überprüfen.»
Deswegen folgt jetzt ein psychologisches Verwirrspiel, an dessen Ende sogar langjährige Kasinoangestellte wieder ans grosse Glück im Spiel glauben. Die Spielerin schiebt ihren gemischten Stapel in den Vordergrund. Dann beginnt sie laut auszurufen: «Oh, mein Gott! Wo sind meine beiden 100-Dollar-Chips? Ich habe sie verloren. Mein Mann bringt mich um!»
Auf dem Fussboden, in ihrer Handtasche, überall sucht sie hysterisch nach den Chips. Dann aber, im selben Moment, in dem der Croupier die beiden 100-Dollar-Chips im Gewinnstapel entdeckt, bricht die Spielerin in lauten Jubel aus: «Da sind sie. Ich kann es nicht fassen. Ich habe sie aus Versehen gesetzt, und sie haben gewonnen. Ich habe gerade 7000 Dollar gewonnen, 7000!»
«Sie müssen sich vorstellen», sagt Marcus: «Da steht eine hübsche Frau, die es niemals nötig hätte zu betrügen, die erst vor Panik zittert und dann in Freudentränen ausbricht − da ist sogar der Croupier glücklich, dass er auszahlen darf. Und schliesslich bekommt er auch noch einen 100-Dollar-Chip als Trinkgeld.»
Marcus ist in seiner fast 25-jährigen Karriere nie erwischt worden. Sechsmal wurde er in einem Hinterzimmer befragt. «Aber nachweisen konnte man mir nichts», sagt er. Beendet hat er seine Betrüger-Karriere, weil er genug verdient hatte. Von den 20 Millionen, blieben ihm 7.
Nichts, was Sie bereuen, Herr Marcus? «Nein. Ich liebte den Adrenalin-Kick. Wenn ich etwas bedaure, dann dass ich keine Familie habe. Meine Ehe ist gescheitert, aber das lag nicht an mir, sondern an der Drogensucht meiner Frau.» Zu seinen Eltern hat Marcus keinen Kontakt mehr, und auch zu seiner Schwester habe er kein gutes Verhältnis. «Aber ich bin nicht alleine. Ich habe Freunde.» Heute schreibt Marcus Bücher und betreibt eine Website. Seine Autobiografie «American Roulette» soll verfilmt werden. «Ich berate heute dieselben Kasinos, die ich früher betrogen habe. Die zahlen mir 5000 Dollar pro Tag.» Und die versteuert Marcus heute. Ganz ehrlich.

«Ich berate heute
dieselben Kasinos, die
ich früher betrogen
habe. Sie zahlen mir
5000 Dollar pro Tag.»

Rash Of Employee/Insider Slot Cheat Scams Rocking US Casinos

Nation´s New Slot Machine Casinos Will Have To Deal With Slot Machine Cheating and Slot Cheats Smarter Than Their Own Technicians And Security Staffs!

With new slot machine-only casinos popping up at racetracks all over the country and in states like Pennsylvania, cheat-wise employees are going into business for themselves. I have gathered information from both inside sources and newspapers that details some inventive new slot cheating scams put down by casino employees.

High-tech thieves have discovered a new way to rip off slot machines - stealing more than $1 million from the Orleans before management shut down their computer-assisted heist. Gaming regulators say the crime - one of the largest in years - shows a vulnerability in casino security that could lead to new surveillance standards. The theft began in September 2006 and allegedly involved three slot workers who, over several months, manipulated software that prints slot machine payout tickets. They allegedly worked with two accomplices who posed as customers and cashed the tickets.
One defendant, slot technician Seferino Romero, pleaded guilty last month and will be
sentenced in Clark County District Court on Jan. 24. Felony theft carries a maximum 10-year prison term. His attorney, Jeffrey Segal, said his client didn’t mastermind the heist and has agreed to pay restitution of $100,000. "I think that his actions subsequent to the conduct indicate that this is a person of good character who got caught up in something and realizes it was a mistake," Segal said.
The Orleans incident shows that other casinos are similarly vulnerable to inside jobs by casino workers, security experts say. Employee theft - sometimes as simple as pocketing cash or chips - is a recurring problem in the cash-rich industry, which can corrupt the most trusted employees. Most crimes are not publicized by casinos and regulators are reluctant to discuss them for fear of tipping thieves to new techniques. Boyd Gaming Corp., which owns the Orleans, declined to discuss the particulars of this case, which is still in progress. "It could compromise the investigation" and assist other cheats, spokesman Rob Stillwell said.
Four other defendants are awaiting arraignment next year on felony theft charges. The
Gaming Control Board’s enforcement chief says the Orleans incident was a new one to him, although it had a familiar ring to security experts.
In this case, Orleans workers printed winning tickets on test machines in a back room, using software allowing the machines to mimic machines on the slot floor that had been turned off, investigators told the Sun. The tickets were for relatively small amounts - a few hundred dollars each - to escape the notice of casino bosses. Stealing from cashless machines is a new challenge for thieves. Casinos have turned from coin slot machines to ticket machines because they are easily played and maintained and had been considered more secure than old-generation coin slots,
which skilled thieves could quickly compromise using mechanical tools such as magnets and metal wands. These newer thefts typically involve casino employees with access to sensitive areas of a casino’s nerve center. And therein lies the problem - and the solution - for casinos. The slot technicians involved in the Orleans theft had appropriate access to the slot testing room but probably shouldn’t have been allowed to tinker with the slot system that communicates with the machines on the floor without some interaction with other departments or higher-ups, said Jerry Markling, chief of the Gaming Control Board’s enforcement division. The good news for casinos is that "these are no longer easy scams" and can mostly be defeated with "strong internal controls," Markling said. Michael Crump, a Fresno-based slot
security consultant, said the Orleans case is typical of an emerging scam that is foiling casinos nationwide. Many casinos rely on manufacturers to create security clearances for casino employees to access their slot tracking software, said Crump, a former executive with Boyd Gaming in Las Vegas. But those casinos may lose track of what clearances those employees have, allowing them to exploit the system later on, he said. Typically, employees who steal have stumbled upon access they shouldn’t have, he said. What’s especially troubling for casinos is that some employees can cover their tracks by erasing transactions or signals that could red-flag auditors, he said. The theft came to light during last month’s Gaming Control Board meeting, when regulators discussed and approved a request by the South Point to put slot machines in a relatively remote part of its casino. Regulators worried about surveillance and the casino offered to post either a security guard or a slot technician at the machines. At the meeting, board member Randy Sayre said ticket machines may not be as secure as industry executives would like to believe. "It’s not just a matter of, we have got the room, we have the people to watch it, let’s put (slots) out there," he said. "Technology is moving forward on us and the bad guys are getting smarter." Regulators are loath to discuss details of how slot machines can be exploited, but indicated that, in a general sense, surveillance of the slots is important. Regulators generally require surveillance cameras on remote machines, though regulations specify dedicated cameras only for big jackpot machines. Some casinos don’t train cameras on machines that have been shut down. Cameras may not stop an actual theft but they can be used to watch employees who might be breaking some procedure by, say, not being on the floor when they should, Crump said. Still, security clearances, rather than surveillance, are the real culprit in this case, he said. Sayre says his concern isn’t with the distance of any particular slot machine from the main casino floor but the possibility that with the spread of slot machines into remote areas, a casino’s security staff could be spread too thin. He says a standard policy for surveillance of remote machines would help casinos and regulators combat crooks. Sayre wonders whether manning the machines with a gaming employee would be preferable to a guard, who is trained to spot underage gamblers but perhaps not as familiar with the technical aspects of the games and how they can be compromised by cheats. Casinos lose an estimated 6 percent of revenue to internal theft, which is chalked up as a cost of doing business, Crump said. Many thieves prefer to ply their trade at smaller casinos outside of Nevada with cruder security mechanisms, he said. But Las Vegas eventually attracts the
most accomplished and polished criminals, who try their hand here "to prove they can get away with it." The Orleans scam was hardly the perfect crime, Markling said. "It was only a matter of time" before the thieves were caught because the casino’s high-tech slot monitoring systems can detect deviations from the expected payout of any particular slot machine, he said.

Scam #2
Arizona ~ East Valley Tribune

Two employees of the Vee Quiva Casino in Laveen have been indicted for allegedly stealing $9,400 in non-existent slot machine jackpots. Jason C. Beal, 31, and Fernando Lechuga, 25, both of Phoenix, will be tried in January for theft by an officer or employee of a gaming establishment on Indian lands. If found guilty, they each face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. According to federal prosecutors, Lechuga, a slot attendant, and Beal, a slot assistant supervisor, wrote and signed jackpot slips for $4,900 and $4,500. A review of surveillance tapes confirmed the jackpots never occurred.

Scam #3
Florida . Sun Sentinel

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating an alleged slot-machine theft ring by employees at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino. This is the first potential scandal for the fledgling industry, which is both heavily regulated and heavily taxed by the state. And I’m the one bringing you the news for one reason: The largest newspaper in Broward County, the Sun-Sentinel, had the story first but got cold feet and decided not to publish it. Before we examine the Sun-Sentinel’s apparent cowardice, let’s look at the emerging scandal at Gulfstream, one of the county’s four pari-mutuels and the first to unveil voterapproved, Las Vegas-style slot machines last year. FDLE spokeswoman Paige Patterson-Hughes confirmed that her agency, which has a regulatory office on Gulfstream grounds in Hallandale Beach, is criminally investigating the casino, although she declined to provide any details. The investigation is centered on promotional cards used to generate interest in the
slot machines, according to sources in the gambling industry and in Tallahassee.
Local casinos provide patrons with the cards, which usually hold $25 to $100 worth of "nonredeemable credits" to play the slots. Patrons can cash in any winnings beyond the card’s originally assigned value. Gulfstream employees are alleged to have exploited the promotion either by playing with large amounts of money on the cards or by their unauthorized selling. Cards used to test the machines also may have been involved in the scam, sources say. Sources also indicate that a Gulfstream executive has been removed from his post while this investigation continues. Gulfstream spokesman Mike Mullaney was almost laughably coy about this. When I asked whether the executive in question had been fired, Mullaney said, "I haven’t seen him around in a while." Mullaney downplayed the investigation. But Gulfstream’s filings to the state reveal that hundreds of thousands of dollars may have been involved in the alleged scam. Gulfstream reported that it gave out a whopping $1,051,000 in nonredeemable credits during July and August. In that same period, Mardi Gras Gaming, a larger casino that does about twice the slots business of Gulfstream, reported using only $108,000 of the credits. Since the investigation began, Gulfstream’s numbers have come back in line, according to state filings. In October, the casino reported using just $107,986 in nonredeemable credits, a huge decline from previous months. Mullaney claimed he wasn’t aware of those numbers. "I’ll have to defer to our accounting department about that," he said. "If there is an investigation, any comment I make could jeopardize it." Mullaney did offer that he had heard people were speculating that millions of dollars were involved in a Gulfstream theft. "I can’t imagine it’s millions of dollars," said. "That boggles the mind." Mardi Gras President Dan Adkins said the Gulfstream investigation could
have far-ranging effects on the industry, which is already hampered by an effective 62-percent tax rate. "To have something like this, which is a scar, a black mark, on all the hard work we’ve done . it hurts me," he said. Mardi Gras would have caught the anomalous numbers immediately, Adkins said, due to its "controls and sophisticated accounting system." State Sen. Steve Geller, who confirmed that the FDLE investigation involves allegedly misused nonredeemable credits, said pari-mutuels are so strictly regulated that any scams are bound to be discovered sooner or later. "It’s impossible to get away with, but the higher up the ladder it goes in terms of management, the longer it takes to get caught," he said. Mullaney said Gulfstream has fully cooperated with the investigation. "As a gaming enterprise, integrity and dignity and credibility are of utmost importance to us," he said. "It’s
in our best interest to play ball with FDLE, which is stationed here anyway." Meanwhile, Mullaney said the first call from the media about the investigation did not come from me but from Sun-Sentinel reporter John Holland. Mullaney said Holland asked him questions and told him the daily newspaper was going to publish an article about the investigation nearly two weeks ago. "But the days came and went without a story," Mullaney told me. "I wasted two dollars and five cents on the Sentinel looking for that story." Holland declined to comment. Sources at the Sun-Sentinel say his article about the investigation was edited and vetted by a lawyer, then killed at the last minute. Earl Maucker, the paper’s executive editor, at one point told Holland to speak with a Gulfstream executive who wanted the story spiked, a veteran Sun-Sentinel reporter said. Gulfstream regularly runs large ads in the Sun-Sentinel. Maucker did not return my calls for comment. Others at the Sun-Sentinel say they heard the story was not published because editors were concerned that it used unnamed sources and because editors were worried that such news could harm the gambling industry. Some in the newsroom were angered by the decision. "A
lot of people are upset about it," one reporter told me. The Sun-Sentinel’s circulation has plummeted lately. At the same time, the paper is undergoing what its management calls "transformative change." To some degree, this entails blending reporting with advertising and marketing. The idea is to better serve advertising
clients as well as readers, even as readers fall away. Traditionally, reporting has been kept strictly separate from the interests of advertisers. The fate of the Gulfstream story in the Sun-Sentinel’s newsroom could be a sign that the paper is not just bridging departments but that its hunt for revenues in an increasingly grim industry has overtaken its journalism, which would be far worse than whatever happened on the slots floor of a local casino.

Scam #4

Intelligence received: A casino reports the detection of an employee working in collusion with outside agents to steal downloadable credits from slot machines. The employee worked in the rewards center and loaded up unearned and undeserved credits onto cards for friends/family. A significant amount of money was stolen. Some of the tells seen when these cards were used: - Suspects had multiple cards in possession and used all - Print out of TITO or cash out credits after every win - No further
play when e-play was used up - Account in false name or identities (player did not match description)
- Kiosks were used to cash in for relatively small amounts $50, $100 etc.
- Employee used another clerk.s computer log-in and password. Noted in paperwork: -
Blocks of numbered card stock were taken in quantity by employee.
- PIN numbers changed frequently on accounts (every few minutes)
It is recommended PIN changes, redemption lists and card issuance reports be checked on a routine basis.