Friday, February 05, 2010

2010 Online Betting and Gaming Conference Reveals Much Anti-Online Poker Cheat Strategies...A Week After Ladbrokes Reveals the Loss of thousands of Customer Details From Database!

Source: Robert Blincoe

Betting sites balance fraudster nab and customer loss...Tricky job? You bet.

Online gambling sites are fighting ever-sharper fraudsters, forcing them to balance stricter anti-cheat measures against the risk of alienating some of their best customers.

Last week's Betting and Gaming 2010 Conference ran just days after it was revealed bookmakers Ladbrokes was investigating the loss of thousands of customer details from one of its databases. It reassured gamblers that the information did not include bank details or passwords. The security breach was revealed by The Mail on Sunday which was approached by an Australian man named Daniel who claimed to have access to Ladbrokes' database of 4.5 million customers. Daniel gave the paper 10,000 customer files to show he was serious.

In an interview prior to the breach being revealed, John O'Reilly, managing director of Ladbrokes' online business Ladbrokes Remote, told us: “As security technologies improve, so do the fraudsters. They are getting sharper and bloody sharper. This is what we see for sure.

"Combating fraud is a big part of what we do - not a very visible part, but it's a huge task for all of us. It's a significant level. We've all got armies of people combating fraud in real time, stopping people getting in and cheating our sites.”

The classic methods used include chargebacks, chip dumping, card tumbling, “a whole bunch of stuff”.

The false chargeback scam involves tricking credit card companies into paying back losing bets. Chip dumping occurs when one poker player passes their chips to an accomplice by deliberately losing - money can be laundered this way. Card tumbling is a trick whereby programmers run algorithms to generate a correct sequence of numbers that will validate a card.

According to APACS, the UK payments association, card fraud in the UK cost the gambling industry over £21m in the 12 months to June 2008. A good industry rule of thumb is that fraud costs two to three per cent of a business's revenues.

Handling major and minor fraud issues is a regular chore for the sites. At the conference two security managers conceded they wouldn't immediately bar a VIP customer caught chip dumping. It can occur without criminal intent, but just to fund a friend's play.

Motie Bring, head of transaction services at poker site PKR, said he'd make sure the customer knew that the site knew what he'd done. “We'd shut them down for a day or two and inconvenience them, and issue warnings. We wouldn't immediately exclude them.”

Though believing strongly that “security supports the business”, Lennart Ehlinger, senior compliance and security advisor for Unibet, recognises that commercial considerations mean you wouldn't automatically exclude a VIP customer for chip dumping. “There have been cases we've had to argue with the marketing department when someone's used a stolen credit card and they want to keep this guy,” he said. “You're banging your head against the wall when you have these discussions.”

Account theft is another classic gambling site fraud and Dennis Luckett, head of fraud for Victor Chandler International, said he'd certainly noticed a big increase in this in the last few months. “We're getting one a fortnight at the moment, and a year ago it was around one every two months. But maybe we're just being unlucky,” he said during a panel discussion on minimising risk and keeping customers happy.

Speakers at the conference conceded that gaming firms needed to improve their security, but a major underlying theme was how this might put off customers. During a panel discussion on integrity Bring said he thought good security could give customers confidence in a site and a competitive advantage, but “we're all being judged in the same way - the industry needs to be a lot more serious about ensuring they have the best technology and best people in place”.

The panel agreed that customers were mainly looking for the best bonuses, and could then be surprised they were having problems getting money out of less reputable sites.

Oliver Eckel, head of corporate security at Bwin, said his firm was playing around with the idea of having various levels of security, with the lowest being a simple login and password and the customer “happy in having a lot of risk”, then going towards using the idea of using tokens like World of Warcraft. “That's something the industry should be moving towards,” he said.

All panel members were resigned to being unable to stop all fraud, and Eckel felt he didn't need perfect security - “it just needs to be better than my competitors'. There needs to be enough of a deterrent to make sure it's not very cost-effective for criminals.”

Ahead of the conference Visa had been showing off its dynamic password technology to the industry. Then on the risk panel Phil D'Angio, director of business development at security business VeriSign thought it “really silly” that the businesses were making a lot of effort in checking who was trying to access their sites, then issuing “the weakest credentials possible – the user ID and password combination. “I don't see the point. You have something out there that's fairly convenient, and quite a bit stronger. Taking security up a notch seems the practical thing to do.”

Luckett was not keen, as any increase in security deters his customers - some of whom want to place bets minutes before events start. “On our side of the fence, anything that makes it harder for customers to log means there is more chance of losing them. Yes you're insecure, but until everyone does it – who wants to be the first? We don't.

“Anything you type into a keyboard is going to be logged by a key logger – if you've got ten layers of security, the key logger will log them all. You might as well use user name and password and let your users get in nice and easy.”

But who else gets in nice and easy?

Yet ANOTHER Vietnamese Inside Dealer Cheating Scam!

Barely three weeks after I wrote an article about whether or not Vietnamese were being unfairly singled out as casino cheats, especially from the inside as employees, I just got news that another pair of Vietnamese women (seems more Viet. women than Viet. men are into casino cheating these days) have been arrested in New Orleans doing a rank dealer/player overpay-and-not-take-the-losers blackjack scam.

The dealer, Tam T. Tran, 50, of Avondale, LA, and the player, Thanh T. Nguyen, 44, of Bridge City, LA, were charged with bilking the Boomtown Casino for a thousand bucks. The exact charges were grand theft of more than $500 and cheating a casino by swindling, both felonies in Louisiana.

The state police were called in when surveillance inspectors at the casino noticed the cheat moves on surveillance video of the two women playing blackjack. Tran was clearly overpaying to Nguyen and not picking up her losing chips.

Please please me! This is a horribly amateurish scam that has to get caught quickly. If you Vietnamese ladies are gonna continue to cheat casinos, please come up with something a little more creative! If you don't get what I mean, try reading up on your fellow comrades in casino cheating...and for you Ms. Tran, your namesake...the TRAN ORGANIZATION!

iPoker Network Reneging On Huge Jackpot Promotion...Online Poker Players Call "Foul!"...and Cheating!

It's all here in's Jagajeet Chiba´s article.

"One of the world's largest online poker networks has come under fire of late for policies related to the discouraging of high stakes long term winning poker players as customers, a policy approved of by one of iPoker's largest brands, Chili Poker. Just the other day I posted Chili Poker CEO's chilling email about this policy here on the website, conplete with broken English and bad grammatical errors.

Now comes word that the iPoker Network is reportedly reneging on a promotion which offered $160,000 as its grand prize. Our friends at write that the folks at are calling iPoker out and they want answers. So does THIS journalist!

"In the promotion, called the Fort Knox SNG Jackpot, players had one goal, to win 6 consecutive 6-max sit and go poker tournaments. The original author of the thread, someone whose handle is bigbrennan claims that he won the required amount of tournaments in succession, without cheating but was denied of the prize.

"In a lengthy post calling out to the online poker community, bigbrennan detailed all of the aspects of the promotion gone wrong. Under the terms of the promotion, all he needed to do was win six consecutive sit and go's at the $50 buy in level with he accomplished in the middle stages of 2009. "However, after conducting an investigation, iPoker ruled that he colluded with other players in the game and has steadfastly refused to pay him out the jackpot amount.

"The reasons iPoker pointed to were more than the expected number of UK-based players, where the original poster is from, and some strange plays from some opponents who they deemed were dumping off chips. After filing formal appeals, both through himself and through his staking interest,, iPoker has refused to budge on the issue and thus nullifying his win. In addition, they promptly closed his account and barred him from playing on the site.

"Bigbrennan's story has caused scores of responses from other posters, most of whom are sympathetic towards his cause. Many posters offered suggestion to him on possible action plans, some involving litigation. All the posters seem to agree however, that without some kind of action, the situation will likely go on, unresolved."

Perhaps iPoker is in the right and they have proof that can be submitted to I won't hold my breath though.

Herein lies the problem: Any online poker room can now use a similar excuse as a way of NOT paying out a winning jackpot. And - trust your ‘ol pal Jagajeet here - THEY WILL. As such, this won't be the last time we are reading about such a thing on the pages of

The almighty Microgaming continues to ignore our friend J. Todd on the issue of its online casino cutting off "lifetime" affiliates. Why? Microgaming doesn't have to answer to anybody because there was so little call to action outside of J. Todd's well produced videos.

The "independent" (Jagajeet laughs) eCOGRA claims now to have received over 50 complaints regarding Microgaming-powered Bella Vegas/Grand Prive Online Casino after electing to endorse this group for the past year amidst all the complaints. I'm sure they will work diligently to address this issue....maybe by 2016. These snakes posing as operators (a la Grand Prive) are your friend if you are told their venom is ninety percent protein, then you come to find out that one bite can kill twenty people or one elephant. is a great site but, until other venues (including start getting the word out about these practices, certain operators will continue to do whatever they please without accountability hoping none of this discussion spills beyond the confines of TwoPlusTwo and ends up on...say...60 Minutes."

Thursday, February 04, 2010

New Multi-Million Dollar Casino Cheating Scam in Macau!

Macau has become the king of major casino cheating scandals, usually engineered by or involving casino employees. But this one was pulled off by a man pretending to be a casino employee...none other than a junket promoter.

Oldfashioned junkets that have long gone by the wayside in Las Vegas are still very much in the mode in Macau, and this article from the Macau Daily Times explains how the clever cook did it. Well, I should say "clever" only before he got caught.


A 42-year-old man from Hong Kong who allegedly cheated a gaming room out of HKD5.3 million was caught by the Judiciary Police (PJ). According to the PJ spokesman Chau Wai Kuong, the suspect, surnamed Ip, first obtained the personal information of a junket promoter from the ringleader. He then claimed himself as the junket promoter, called the telecom company and said to them that he had lost his mobile phone. The company hence invalidated the previous phone number and issued a temporary number to the suspect. During this period, the 42-year-old went to the gaming room and said it was the junket promoter who told him to come to take the HKD5.3 million gaming chips he stored there. The accounting department called the victim for confirmation, yet the call was diverted to the temporary number and received by the suspect who allegedly pretended to be the junket promoter, the PJ said. Since the ringleader requested the suspect to get cash instead of gaming chips, he returned to the casino to change them into cash. During which, police said the victim called the accounting department saying his phone number went invalid. It was at this time the fraud was revealed. Chau said the suspect got 6,000 patacas from the ringleader. The PJ is tracking down the ringleader who they believe should also be from Hong Kong. The suspect was sent to the Public Prosecutions Office yesterday pending pre-trial.

Strange Casino Cheat Case in Africa

Read this BOPA (Botswana) Daily News account of a slot machine cheating case and see what you make of it. Sounds like it could be part of a good comedy movie.


The Botswana Police Service have confirmed that a Russian doctor, Vladimir Pastouchenko left the Princess Marina Hospital early last year after his contract expired. Dr Pastouchenko is the father to Serguei Pastouchenko who was accused of defilement and manipulation of a casino machine.
Pastouchenko (accused) skipped bail last year in November after being granted conditional bail. Detective Sub Inspector Tebogo Morwamang of the Sir Seretse Khama police said they suspected that Pastouchenko, who spent a short stint in jail following conviction and the imposition of a seven-year jail term on a defilement charge, might have fled the country presumably with his parents who were his court sureties.

The police are still in possession of Pastouchenkos passport after he was ordered to surrender it as one of the bail conditions. The investigator noted that when they went to check on Pastouchenko at his fathers flats at the Grand Palm Hotel, they found nothing apart from a G4S security company note which was pushed under the door. It looks like the company had come to attend to an alarm that had been activated.

Sub-Inspector Morwamang said they suspected that the three secretly fled to their native country. Pastouchenko was granted conditional bail last year by South Regional Magistrate, Mr Lot Moroka and one of the conditions was that he should provide two sureties: P10 000 for defilement and P40,000 for machine cheating.

The state did not oppose the bail application because prior to his conviction, Pastouchenko had been on bail. The granting of his bail followed an order from the Lobatse High Court for a re-trial of his defilement matter after the defence lawyer Fashole Luke II brought to the attention of the court that there was no record in the trial proceedings that some of the prosecution witnesses had taken oath or made any affirmation before giving evidence and that the complainant was not subjected to a legal procedure for admitting a child as a witness.

Justice David Newman found that there were fatal irregularities on the part of the trial magistrate and ordered a re-trial.

Pastouchenko allegedly had sex with an underage girl who was the daughter to his former girlfriend. In another case, Pastouchenko (53) faced counts of cheating gambling machines at the Grand Palm Casino Hotel. The case is also pending before the court.

He was alleged to have manipulated the software of the gambling machines at the Grand Palm using his loyalty personal card numbers in order for the machines to double his cash without playing the gambling game. The offences, which entail an amount of over P250 000 were allegedly committed in December 2008.

The court has summoned Pastouchenkos lawyer to avail himself to court on February 9 to go and explain the whereabouts of his client.BOPA

Tortured Poker Dealers Appeal to Rights Group Over Alleged Poker Cheat Incident!

Source: Mom Kunthear Phnom Penh Post

Six former staff members of the Cambodian Star Vegas Casino in Banteay Meanchey province said Wednesday that they are seeking assistance from the rights group Adhoc to challenge their dismissal by the Thai owner. The fired employees say the owner locked them in a room at the casino for two days before accusing them of working with guests to cheat him out of winnings.

“The casino owner accused us of cheating by colluding with guests to win them money in exchange for a tip. We could not have done it, though, because we work in the evening, and the guests were playing in the morning,” said 26-year-old Touch Sophal, one of the fired staff members.
He added that he and others in the group were struggling to support their families because they had been denied salaries last month. “We filed a complaint with Adhoc so they can help us get our January salary of 7,000 to 8,000 baht (about 800,000 riels), as well as character references to help us secure new jobs,”Touch Sophal said. Contact details for the casino owner and representatives of the Star Vegas Casino were unavailable on Wednesday.

Violation of workers’rights:

Soum Chankea, an Adhoc coordinator in Banteay Meanchey, said he filed the workers’ complaint with the provincial labour department. “The owner of the casino ignored the rights of his workers,” he said, adding that it was a widespread problem, and that he was prepared to take the matter to the Ministry of Labour if necessary. Lim Sothet, director of Banteay Meanchey’s provincial labour department, said Wednesday that he had not yet received details of the complaint but was ready to offer the group his full assistance. “I’ll try to broker an agreement between the dismissed staff members and the casino owner, but if they can’t work things out that way, they can take the matter to the courts,” he said.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Nevada Supreme Court Throws Out Mother-Daughter Slot Cheating Team Convictions...Major Blow to Nevada Gaming Control Board!

It really hurts the Enforcement Division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board when 30 convictions of slot machine cheating are thrown out of court in one fell swoop! But that's what happened in the case of a notorious, longtime mother-daughter (working with others as well) slot cheat team. The article below by Cy Ryan of the Las Vegas Sun gives the details.


A mother and a daughter, each convicted of more than 30 counts of slot cheating in casinos in Clark County, have drawn some relief from the Nevada Supreme Court.

LaVonna Wallace and her daughter Stephanie Balsamo were accused of using a cheating device to bilk the slot machines at Nevada Landing, Gold Strike and Whiskey Pete’s casinos in 2006. The two were accused of using an instrument with a light to manipulate the machines and get unauthorized payouts. The mother was convicted of 43 cheating and burglary counts. The Supreme Court ruled there was insufficient evidence to uphold the convictions on 22 of the cheating counts. The court invalidated 15 of the counts of use of a cheating device because it was never seen in Wallace’s possession at the machines that were allegedly cheated. And seven of the 12 counts of possession of a cheating device were thrown out.

The daughter was convicted of 36 counts of cheating and burglary. The court said there was insufficient evidence to support 15 of Balsamo’s convictions for use of a cheating device, described about the size of a short coat hanger with a light attached.

Balsamo was not seen in the possession of the unit at the time the alleged cheating was under way. Security officers testified that one of the women would insert the device into the machines to draw the payout. The other woman would place a pack of cigarettes over the payout meter to hide the combinations on the slot machine. A purse was placed top of the payout chute to conceal the maneuvering, they testified.

The Supreme Court rejected the argument that the errors denied the women a right to a fair trial.

Pastposting Conviction in Iowa Casino Case.

Source: Steven Martens Quad-City Times.

A Rock Falls, Illinois man has been found guilty of cheating during a game of poker at the Wild Rose Casino in Clinton.

Dustin O. Kendrick, 30, was charged with prohibited acts after a Feb. 5, 2009, incident at the casino. According to court records, Kendrick was at the casino that morning playing Ultimate Texas Hold ’Em when the dealer spotted him “capping” his bet, meaning he had added chips to a bet he had already placed on the table after the cards had been dealt. The dealer told police Kendrick had been warned in the past about capping his bets.
Kendrick told police he had made a mistake and didn’t mean to do it, but acknowledged he was a gold card member of the casino and a frequent visitor.

A Clinton County jury found Kendrick guilty Monday in a one-day trial. He faces a maximum of five years in prison when he is sentenced March 4. The conviction also means Kendrick will be banned for life from all Iowa casinos. Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf said the statute exists to make sure casino games are fair for all players.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Should Poker and Casino Cheats Have More Fear of Video Surveillance Technology As It Improves?

Not really. No matter how much improvement is made to video technology and casino surveillance systems, in 99% of cheating cases in poker rooms and casinos, the evidence gathered by one surveillance camera is about the same that would have been filmed by another, all else being equal. For example, a new video technology by Milestone Systems claims that with a few quick clicks, surveillance personnel can control a hundred or more cameras simultaneously and see live or archived images from multi-servers at once. And that all this is very easy to forward to casino cops as evidence. Then with the video including sound, professional casino and poker cheat teams can be heard exchanging signals, but that is impossible to improve and always subject to subjective interpretation.

This all sounds daunting, but none of it changes the golden rule about how much poker and casino cheats should fear video and audio evidence. That rule is the best video and audio surveillance systems are only as good as the human beings connected to them. This is the reason I was never afraid of cameras in casinos while I cheated their pants off.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Nevada is Not The Only State WIth a Casino Black Book for Cheats


In Las Vegas, the worst thing that could happen to a person is to be placed in the "Black Book" of the casinos. Inclusion in that book meant that the person could never step foot in a Las Vegas casino legally.
Baby casino state Pennsylvania now has one thing in common with Big Brother Nevada: their own version of the book, called the "Involuntary Casino Exclusion List." The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has now added three new members to the group of people who will no longer be allowed in a casino in the state.

Andre Nestor, Patrick Loushil, and Kerry Laverde, have been banned from entering any casino in Pennsylvania. The additions of these men to the list stems from charges associated with cheating at the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington County. "They are accused of compromising a slot machine at the Meadows to fraudulently claim over $400,000 in winnings over a two-month period last year," said the Gaming Board, in a statement revealing the men's inclusion on the list. That was not the only order of business for the Board over the past week.

The Rivers Casino, one of the newest gambling facilities in the state, was fined for allowing underage gambling twice in the past several months. The fine was agreed upon between the Board and the casino.
In addition, the Board will soon have to deal with regulating table games at Pennsylvania casinos. Lawmakers in the state have recently legalized the table games, which are set to bring thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to the state.