Tuesday, April 27, 2010

US Casinos More Worried About Cheating On Player Loyalty Cards Than At The Tables and Slots!

More and more high-tech casino cheats are getting into the art of cheating the Player Loyalty Cards that casinos use to suck money out of gamblers by offering time-incentives for their action, based both on the amount of their bets and their accumulated time spent gambling. The most common rewards coming off these loyalty cards are free rooms and meals (forget it, guys, no hookers on the house! LOL). The high-tech cheats, often dealers and other people working inside the casino, manipulate the information contained on the loyalty cards to obtain rewards that their cohort players can sell to people looking for discounts on rooms and meals. For instance, a person buying chips at a table or using his players´ card at slot machines for $1,000 can get rewards for a player buying in for $10,000--if someone enters that false information into the player loyalty card data base. Their average bet and time playing can also be falsely entered. All this leads to more points and more rewards, which eventually turn into cash that the casino loses.

Casinos in the US are fighting this casino cheat scam by creating algorithms that identify fraudulent playing activity. One way of spotting this is when that activity deviates significantly from normal play. They can then compare players visual play taken from surveillance video and compare it with the information entered into the player loyalty card data base. If it doesn't jibe, then they know someone's been whacking the system.

Some casinos are using an information systems consulting company called Synectics to help integrate multiple systems into one big automated red-flag operative.

“One of the fundamentals is that there are too many cameras and too many dispersed systems and it’s difficult to sift through all that benign data to find out what’s worth looking at,” John Katnic, chief operating officer and vice president of Synectics has said. “This is a means of dealing with escalating security data and what to look at and the way to look at it and what’s outside the trend.”

My take: well, I don't really give a crap about casinos catching player-loyalty-card cheats. In fact, better they focus their attention on them than on guys looking to cheat casinos the old-fashioned way--on the tables!