Friday, February 12, 2010

World Game Protection Keynote Speaker Kevin Mitnick Tries To "Buy" His Presentation From Richard Marcus! True Solid Evidence That Willy Allison's WGPC Engages Speakers Who Know Nothing About Game Protection!

As you know, I have been severely criticizing the credibility of both Willy Allison and his World Game Protection Conference for two years now. My motive has been in response to Allison's and others in his inner circle's attempts to steer casinos away from my consulting services in the areas of casino table game and slots protection and surveillance training, so that they could get all the clients and monopolize the industry. Many of you were probably thinking that I have been mouthing off about a lot of nonsense and that Allison's WGPC is the Bible as far as game protection conferences go. But now I finally have PROOF to back up my accusations.

It started with my latest blog article criticizing the World Game Protection Conference on January 31. On February 1st, I received a rebuke from Sal Piacente, one of the card-trickster speakers at each WGPC who calls himself "The Hitman." I responded to Piacente's calling me an idiot with this article.

On February 3rd, I was surprised to find an e-mail in my Inbox from Kevin Mitnick, none other than the keynote speaker for this year's 2010 World Game Protection Conference whom Willy Allison has heavily publicized to draw in his attendees, the same way he did publicizing me in 2007 when I was the keynote speaker, the same way he publicized Dr. Edward O. Thorpe in 2008 and Mike Aponte in 2009, when they were the respective keynote speakers in those years, neither of whom had much to do with present-day game protection. I expressed my opinion about both these guys even though I didn´t have proof that they were not qualified game protection people.

When I heard from Mitnick, I figured that he also wanted to berate me for my recent World Game Protection article, because in it I stated that the computer-communications-hacking Mitnick had absolutely NOTHING to do with game protection. It was obvious to me that he was just the latest in Allison's attempts to hire big names with TV and book exposure to lure attendees to his conference.

Well, I was certainly surprised, somewhat laughably, when Mitnick contacted me to HELP him with his presentation. Obviously he had not read my negative article on the WGPC and had no idea that I was virtually at war with Willy Allison. Mitnick started by saying he wanted to "pick my brain" on certain areas of gaming security and protection, but as our e-mails went back and forth, I realized he basically wanted me to prepare his presentation, because, as I had suspected and wrote about, Mitnick knows nothing about casinos or game protection. He's an ex-hacker who'd been a pain in the ass to certain communications companies, not casinos.

Mitnick was looking to freeload his way into my brain, but I only offered him that opportunity for $500, my minimum consulting fee for game protection services. We finally hooked up by telephone and I gave him his ammo, ONLY because I want to prove my point to YOU, not to help him. The proof lies within our e-mail communications which follow below. After you've read them, you tell me...Does Kevin Mitnick belong as the keynote speaker at this or any other conference concerning game protection...or am I out of line?

And don't forget, what you hear at the 2010 World Game Protection Conference may be coming out of Kevin Mitnick's mouth, but it's coming from MY brain!

E-MAILS between Kevin Mitnick and Richard Marcus in order received and sent follow below. Actual screenshots of the e-mails are available to any doubters.

From "Kevin Mitnick"
Subject: Re: Contact
Date: 02/03/2010 12:28:53 PM
To:

Quoting Kevin Mitnick :

Hi Richard,

I found your web site this evening and would like to speak with you. Do you live in Vegas? I do, but I'm in Brazil till Thursday.

If you can call me on 805-341-4555, that would be great!

Thank you,

Kevin Mitnick

From
Subject: Re: : Contact
Date: 02/04/2010 09:42:15 AM
To: "Kevin Mitnick"

Kevin,

No, I live in France.

What do you want to speak to me about?

Richard

Quoting Kevin Mitnick :

Hi Richard,

I wanted to pick your brain if possible. I'm doing a talk on information security in Vegas for a gaming convention.

http://www.worldgameprotection.com/conference/

I was looking at attacks on RFID technology with respect to playing cards and chips, attacks on shuffle machines, and attacks on player loyalty cards, if possible. I haven't looked at the track data on these cards, but maybe there is a way to hijack another player's loyalty points, etc.

I found you in Google :-) I was saw your write up on shuffle master. Of course, a rogue insider can maybe build their own cheating shuffle machine and replace the electronics in a real shuffle master. Do the casinos actually verify the electronics inside as genuine?

I have an extensive background in hacking and social engineering. I even wrote a book on the later.

All my best,

Kevin

On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 8:29 AM, wrote:

Kevin,

Yes, players' loyalty points can be hijacked.

As far as Shuffle Master goes, there have been incidents of tampered machines and dealers working that angle to rip off their casinos with player agents. I can prepare detailed info on all this and other breaches in Vegas security info and charge you my standard mimimum consulting fee of $500.

If interested, let me know.

Richard

Quoting Kevin Mitnick :

Hi Richard,

So please tell me what you would can share that (is not in Google) and how much would it cost?

Thank you,

Kevin

On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 8:51 AM, wrote:

Most importantly, I would give you a step by step cheaters' approach to breaching these types of security measures, how and when the employees get involved and how the actual track data is used and manipulated on the loyalty cards. I would also give you info that none of the WGPC regulars are privy to, which would make your presentation that much more interesting and original. I don't know if you are interested in getting into the consulting game with casinos, but with your name and an exciting presentation, you probably could.

The main problem with the casino people who attend WGPC is that they get taught the high-tech stuff by people who only know its purpose and not how it actually operates, and in some case by people who actually are not experts and just read up on it for their appearances. When I keynoted the WGPC back in 2007, I was amazed at the collective ignorance there. I did some consulting work for US casinos (now I work only in Europe and South America) on conventional cheating, but most US casinos were afraid to hire me thinking I would try to set their casinos up! (Such was their mentality) I don't think you would have that problem.

My take on all this would give much better insight and accuracy than "Google." You would supply me with the basic areas you want to cover and I would address each.

I would put a full day into it and charge you $500.

Richard

Quoting Kevin Mitnick :

Alright.

These are the areas I am interested in:

RFID - Some casinos are deploying RFID in chips and soon in playing cards. I wonder if they will be dumb enough to use an RFID tag to identify the value of the card. If so, it will be a cheaters paradise!

Shuffle machines - how can a player (working with a casino employee) manipulate (hack) the machine to cheat, if possible. I was thinking of replacing the shuffle mater shell with a rigged shuffle machine. I guess how does it get replaced without getting seen on camera. These are my thoughts on attacks.

Player loyalty cards - how can these be attacked to leverage an advantage. I hope they don't use these cards for stored value. That would be too easy to compromise. I assume there is an identifier to a person in the back end database. If an identifier can be obtained, simply change the information on the track (i.e. clone a heavy players loyalty card). Again, just brainstorming.

Computer servers that set odds on slots, game kings, etc... hack into the server and set odds... or get intel on the pay off history.. in other words, by compromising the back end, can a cheater configure a machine on the floor to pay off.

By the way, do you know Willy?

I agree with you. I assume these talks are theories. Is it legal to demo any attacks on gaming machine for the purpose of exposing how it's done?

I've heard about some VERY clever people reverse engineering the bill validator (developed in Japan) to add $$$. There is 2 guys that got popped for it... and that are in the black book...Bill Cushing and some other guy.. I guess they are good at attacking the hardware.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/jan/07/sentencing-delayed-slot-machine-cheats-black-book/

I look forward to your response.

All my best,

Kevin

On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 9:14 AM, wrote:

I could have this done for you by the end of the week, possibly Thursday. Just pay $500 to Paypal account richard@richardmarcusbooks.com and I will get to work on it...I don't know if you're reading my entire e-mails, but as I was the keynote speaker at the 2007 WGPC, how could I not know Willy?

Quoting Kevin Mitnick :

Yes, I read your email. I only met Willy once. And I wasn't sure if you dealt with him or his wife.

Do you have information that is timely and new. - 2010.. cause I don't want to discuss dated techniques.. :-)

Kevin

On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 9:30 AM, wrote:

Yes...bottom line: it's worth it!

Quoting Kevin Mitnick :

Ok..please send me your cell number. I want to verify before making a payment to someone I never met :-)

Kevin

On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 9:41 AM, wrote:

LOL!!!!

That's funny! The biggest computer hacker of his time checking up on the world's biggest casino cheat of his!!! But never forget honor among ex-thieves!

(Phone number followed here...)

You can get me in twenty minutes, !0:00 Vegas time.

Richard

I missed a few of Mitnick's calls, then we hooked up and I gave him the info he will present to you at the 2010 World Game Protection Conference.

PLEASE!!!! DO NOT CONTINUE PAYING YOUR GOOD MONEY TO THIS CONFERENCE OR ANY OF THE SURVEILLANCE ACADEMY, TRAINING SEMINARS OR CONSULTING SERVICES ASSOCIATED WITH WILLY ALLISON AND THE WGPC!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Negative or Counterproductive Casino Surveillance and Security

What does this mean? Well, it is when casino and poker room surveillance staffs (floor staffs as well) screw up and create problems for their poker rooms and casinos. For instance, you may have noticed that lately there have been several lawsuits filed against poker rooms and casinos across the US by people who have been detained and even arrested for committing casino and gambling crimes only to have been found innocent upon further investigation by the casinos and poker rooms themselves, and then let go.

These HUGE errors in judgement by casino staffs, almost always by surveilance people, cost their casinos lots of money. Lawsuits like this are always open-and-shut cases with the plaintiffs walking out of court with between $50,000 and $500,000 depending upon the size and power of the casino involved, as well, of course, as the judge or jury.

Casino surveillance staffs are supposed to safeguard the casino's assets, which in turn is supposed to save the casino money that would end up in poker cheats' and casino cheats' pockets. But when people are detained and arrested for cheating and then let go (which is far worse for the casino than being found innocent in court), the surveillance operation proves to be negative or counterproductive.

The main reason for these horrific lapses in casino surveillance and security is simply that the huge majority of their staffs are trained by people, the so-called "game protection consultants," who really have no clue about real casino surveillance themselves.

This is why the casinos who do not use my training seminars ought to be calling me instead of the incompetent people they hire to teach them surveillance academics and game protection.

Poker Cheat Teams Working Morocco...Should You Worry About Their Poker Room and Casino Security Upgrades?

Source: John M. Gaming Zion

According to Moroccan gambling law, most forms of gambling are legal in the nation. This is likely a result of its being quite popular amongst the locals and the government’s realization that, through gambling, they can provide the nation with social benefits and a better stream of revenue.

Morocco is one of the most popular gambling destinations on the entire African continent, including both tourists from Africa and other parts of the world. As a result, Moroccan casinos and gambling centers are often abuzz with life. The huge crowds that can be found in Moroccan casinos are a plus when it comes to revenue, but can also lead to some problems. Players are always trying to get an edge on casinos and to find an easier path to free money. Due to this, Moroccan casinos need to have pretty high security levels.

In order to guard against sleight of hand, substitution of dice, theft of chips and inappropriate card counting and other issues that plague brick and mortar casinos, The Casino Agadir Atlantic Palace, one of Morocco’s most popular casinos, is making efforts to upgrade security. They are doing so by installing networked megapixel cameras and speed dome cameras which are capable of panning at a rate of 400 degrees per second! These steps to deter cheating are likely to benefit the casino greatly.

My Take: I don't think much of anything can help Moroccan poker rooms and casinos safeguard against cheating. Remember, all improvements to video surveillance and gadgetry are subject to the knowledge and intelligence of the people looking at the images and deciphering the information.

Another Casino Facing Lawsuit Over Falsely Accusing a Gambler of Cheating!

This time it's a false cheating accusation on slot machines.

Source: Kelly Holleran Southeast Texas Record.

A Jefferson County woman has filed suit against Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel, alleging she was wrongfully accused of cheating the casino, detained by employees and arrested.

Connie Sue Broussard claims she and her husband decided to travel to Delta Downs in Vinton, La., on Feb. 5, 2009. Arriving between 11 a.m. and noon, Broussard proceeded to play various slot machines for several hours, winning money on some machines and losing on others, according to the complaint filed Feb. 4 in Jefferson County District Court.

After several hours, Broussard claims that when she attempted to cash her ticket vouchers several employees approached and detained her, the suit states. "When she inquired about the detention, an employee of Defendant Delta Downs publicly stated that 'you know what you did' and further publicly and falsely accused Plaintiff of 'milking' the casino 'for over $13,000,'" the complaint says. "Employees of Defendant Delta Downs then publicly seized the casino money vouchers as well as all cash in Plaintiff's possession."

According to Broussard, defendant Travis Waters then led her to an isolated room where he and other employees interrogated her for an hour and a half. Broussard said they accused her of tampering with one of the slot machines so it would pay her more often, according to the complaint.
The suit states employees took all of Broussard's money from her, then took her to jail.

On Nov. 16, the casino dropped the felony theft charge against Broussard and the money was returned to her on Jan. 15, according to the complaint.
Nonetheless, Broussard claims she experienced humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, mental anguish, fright, anger, aggravation, worry, loss of enjoyment of life, deprivation of liberty, invasion of privacy and pain from the incident. The suit alleges the following acts of negligence on the part of defendants Delta Downs and Waters:

Failing to properly control security staff;
Allowing security staff to falsely arrest and detain a customer;
Failing to properly inspect the operating function of the slot machines;
Failing to maintain proper control of the premises; and
Failing to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.

Broussard is seeking up to $75,000 and other relief to which she may be entitled.

My Take: It looks like this casino is in trouble! I don't see how they say she actually cheated the slot machines in the first place! This is another case of bad casino surveillance. Surveillance operators must not only know how to recognize scams they see but also recognize that the scams they think they see are not scams at all!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

New Online Poker Cheating Scandal Connected to Stoxpoker and Instructor Jason Ho! This Time it's Ripping Off Players Trying to Learn How to Avoid Being Cheated Online!

Source: aintluck.com

Over the past several years, as online poker players have evolved from a sea of fish to a more overall competent player pool, players seek out to get whatever edge they can. Whereas in the past, players sought advice in books from successful players, the technological age has paved the way for virtual teaching methods from online coaches. Some of the more successful training sites include Cardrunners.com and Stoxpoker.com.

The formula is simple. The established sites seek out highly profitable players and offer them positions within their company to teach other aspiring players the tricks of the trade. Often times, they create instructional videos in which they video their online sessions and they use voice-overs to explain what they are doing. The videos are then archived online and made available to paying customers through the use of a username and password they obtain through paying a membership fee to the site. Other times, the individual instructors offer actual lessons to customers for a higher rate.

This is the very situation of the controversy swirling around Stoxpoker.com instructor Jason Ho. On his website, Ho claimed to have earned over $1 million playing online poker in 2008 alone. By making this incredible claim, Ho was able to lure unsuspecting students for private lessons at exorbitant rates. One by one, player have been coming forward claiming they have been bilked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In addition to overcharging for sub par lessons, Ho also allegedly concocted a scheme around Pot Limit Omaha in which he obtained an undisclosed amount of money from prospective business partners. To date, none of the partners has received a single penny for their investment and Ho has cut off all communication with them. He has since been dismissed from his association with Stoxpoker and has taken his blog offline, leaving cheated customers angry and without their money.

Stoxpoker maintains no liability in the matter saying that ultimately it is up to individuals to do their own due diligence before entering into business alliances with any possible coaches or mentors.

Among the most exorbitant claim is a player stating that he paid $7,000 for what he believed was a week long one-on-one training session with Ho in Macau, and was surprised when other customers arrived. In addition, Ho spent a large amount of the training time locked up in his hotel room.

To date, no one has filed any legal complaint and Ho has yet to issue a statement as more and more players come forward.

California Senate to Hear Legalizing Intrastate Online Poker Bid!...Can the Sunny State Keep its Skies Clear of Online Poker Cheating?

Source: John Stathis examiner.com

An informal hearing titled "Examining the Public Policy and Fiscal Implications Related to the Authorization of Intrastate Internet Poker in California" will be held by California's Senate Governmental Organization Committee on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at the State Capital (room 4203) in Sacramento from 9:30 a.m- 5:30 p.m. The hearing's agenda includes statements from Tribal Government leaders, card clubs, players, Bureau of Gambling Control Commission, internet service providers, and problem gambling/anti-gambling organizations. Public comment is slated last on the agenda where the people affected most will have its say to the Senate committee.

Poker, as in blackjack, provides an advantage to players who depend on mathematics to earn a profit and those who ignore the math will lose in the long-run. The State Senate of California is exploring the feasibility of revenue from the multi-billion dollar industry that is lost to offshore online casinos. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is scheduled to make a pitch for the exclusive right to operate intrastate internet poker in California. The tribes in California are loosely enforced by the Bureau of

Gambling Control Commission and disputes are enforced by California Tribal Gaming agencies which is to say that the tribes are the fox guarding the henhouse. On September 11, 2009 the Kahnawake Gaming Commission of the Mohawk Tribe near Montreal, Canada admitted cheating occurred at Ultimate Bet from 6/03-12/07. A tribe in California running internet poker can cheat players right under the Bureau of Gambling Control Commission's noses and that is disturbing.

Many don't desire a casino in their homes while it can be argued taxing online poker will help California out of its budget woes. California can cut out the middleman and run internet poker as it does with horse racing now. The morality of the issue will begin in Sacramento February 9 where the politics of "making sausage" will rear its ugly head.