Saturday, June 19, 2010

Delaware Nabs its First Casino Cheat--An Amateur Bet-Capper

New table games casinos are popping up all over the Eastern Seaboard and the casino cheats, both the amateurs and professionals, are showing up at the tables to give these casinos a very warm cheating-welcome. I'm not sure what the table maximum bets are (I think they're $100), but even at low-limit casinos the cheats come in hordes to take advantage of the "green" casino staffs. I remember when Colorado opened their blackjack tables with $5 limits, the cheats bombarded them. One blackjack cheat I saw capping his bet from $2 to $5 told me that he could make a day's pay.

And if you're wondering what I was doing there, it was not to cheat $5 blackjack tables! LOL. I was passing thru during a ski trip.

The amateur blackjack bet-capper (bet-capping is simply adding chips to the original bet when it wins, not switching chips in and out or laying down chips where there were none before the winning outcome) has been identified as a 25 year-old guy from Philadelphia named Maurice A. Thomas, who capped his bet at least four different times and was seen on surveillance cameras. I imagine he was capping bets a lot longer than that before the rookie surveillance staff got on to him. He was arrested by the Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement at the Delaware Park Casino, where he was caught cheating.

Thomas was released at his arraignment after posting $4,000 bond. I don't know how stiff penalties are going to be for casino cheats in Delaware, but if their table limits are not at least $500, the good pro cheat teams will ignore Delaware and we will see only the run-of-the-mill amateur cheats getting busted there.

Friday, June 18, 2010

High-Tech Casino Cheats Scoring Big in Macau By Scanning Electronic Baccarat Card Chips!

Macau pit supervisors and surveillance operators are double- and triple-checking high-rolling gamblers who are spotted in the VIP high-stakes gambling areas wearing lots of thick jewelry. Why?...Because this type of flashly jewelry can be housing very sensitive scanners that can cheat the casinos out of millions!

Macau casinos have been using electronic, or cards with embedded computer chips inside them, at their baccarat tables. They have been doing this in order to protect their games from the widespread cheating that has been plaguing the peninsula's casinos, especially to protect their baccarat games from card-switches. But they didn´t count on high-tech cheaters being able to read the cards with sensitive scanners. And the baccarat cheats doing it are hiding the scanners in their expensive jewelry, be it bracelets, necklaces or rings.

So what is Macau surveillance MO to combat cheating by scanning?...simply be on the lookout for gamblers winning big who are wearing lots of expensive bling.

Although no one has been caught with a scanner, Macau casino operators say they have lost more than HK$30 million. Now that's not as much as American dollars but it's still a heck of a lot!

How can these operators find the scanners?...well, it seems they cannot conduct efficient debugging operations to uncover them, and they can't very well risk the embarrassment of searching all their high rollers wearing expensive, bulky jewelry, so about the only thing they can do is make changes to their electronic card devices for which they have already invested huge money. Until this is done, surveillance will simply have to watch with their eyes what is going on in the VIP high-betting areas. They will have to pick up on strange behavior and perhaps body language telling them that scanners may be in use.

According to one casino manager, "The casino where I work requires all service assistants in the VIP hall and big-bet areas to pay special attention to customers wearing big rings and report to security if anything suspicious is seen." She added that other casinos have instituted the same policy.

The "security-smart" chips are supposed to combat cheaters by keeping track of all the bets being made electronically, which effectively combats scams ranging from pastposting to money laundering at the casino cages. But the scanners are permitting the cheaters to scam the value of the baccarat cards before they're dealt, by cracking the inner codes in the chips.

Another casino manager said, "About three weeks ago there appeared to be some extremely lucky customers in the VIP hall and big-bet areas. All of them played baccarat. They lost when the bet was small but won every time a game was heavily backed. Someone even won more than 100 games non-stop and collected a few million dollars."

The electronic cards work by having chip-codes for all the face values of the cards in the deck. They are connected to the dealer's electronic dealing shoe, each card recorded as it is dealt. A central computer calculates the results at the end of each shoe. The dealer does the same, entering the cards dealt each hand manually. If there's a deviance on any hand, an alarm goes off and the words "scanner-scam" ring in the casino's ears.

How did the Macau casinos pick up on this high-tech cheating?

According to the second casino manager, "We have not found evidence of cheating, but in all games when the casino dropped big money the cards had been cut by customers with big rings or bracelets. One was holding a black cigarette case-size box when cutting the cards. We cannot exclude the possibility there are scanners in the customers' accessories. The scanner can read the code when cards are being cut, so gamblers know the order of the cards and can bet heavily on a game they are sure to win."

So, can a scanner encased in a diamond ring or any other piece of glittering jewelry really beat a casino out of millions? According to Tsang Kim-fung, a professor of electronic engineering at Hong Kong's City University, it most definitely can:

"The principle of the electronic card is the same as the Octopus card. A scanner can read the data of the chip within the card very easily. Some advanced countries are able to produce mini scanners that can be put in a ring, but it must be expensive."

How it works:

First the scanners reads the cards. Then a computer analyzes the code to determine the order of the cards. Since electronic shoes deal eight decks of cards, the cheats using the scanners have sufficient time to depart the table and analyze the results before returning and taking down the money via their bets made with advance knowledge of how the cards will turn out.

The casino manager said, "A cheat can bet small on the first few games and then go out to use a computer to analyze the order. After the order is memorized, they go back and bet heavily."

A casino owner spoke about the repercussions of suspecting prominent and legitimate high rollers:

"Our customers are rich. They wear multi-carat diamond jewelry, luxury watches. Most are superstitious and want to cut the cards before placing a bet. We've allowed them to do so in the past, and it would be hard for us to suddenly stop them from doing so now."

Allowing them to cut the cards appears to ease the function of getting a scanner into optimum position...if they have one.

Anti-cheating experts, those with high-tech know-how, say that Macau's casinos should replace the electronic cards immediately, even if they have to lose a few days of business doing so. This means improving the technology of the chips in the cards, not replacing the electronic cards with regular cards.

My Take: This high-tech threat is real and could be deadly for the casinos! If I were them, I'd go back to the regular cards without the computer chips. In that case, they'd only have to worry about "low-tech" cheating!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Casino Cheating in Uzbekistan Leads to Violence, Death and Burning Down the Casino!

It started when a rowdy group of Uzbeks decided to play blackjack at the Kyrgyz casino. When they lost their money, they accused the blackjack dealer of cheating. Now, I am not saying that blackjack cheating by the dealer was not happening, but I wasn't there to say yes or no. In any event, push led to shove, shove led to fisticuffs, fisticuffs led to bullets, and bullets led to deaths and burning down the casino.

Before the shooting started, police had managed to chase the unruly gamblers, but they returned to the casino with more of their friends plus their families to boot. About four hundred people were involved in the shooting and setting the casino ablaze. Several people were killed, but it's difficult to say how many died in or near the casino because of the general unrest and violence in the country.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another Roulette Cheat Pastposter Falls in Singapore!

This time the busted roulette cheat is a Pakistani but I believe he is part of the Tanzanian or African team that has already had two of its members arrested for roulette cheating in Singapore's casinos and imprisoned in Sinapore jails. The latest thirty-five year-old man has been identified as Ashraf Zohaib. He tried to pastpost a $1,000 chip straight-up on number 29. But his mechanics seem a bit strange to me. His original bet on the number was a $25 chip. After the number came in and the dealer placed the marker over his winning $25 chip, Zohaib picked up the marker and $25 chip with one hand and laid down a $1,000 chip with the other, before replacing the $25 chip and marker atop the pastposted $1,000 chip. He did the move while the dealer was preparing the $875 payoff for the $25 chip, at 35 to 1. The move was a bit clumsy and should not have been laid and claimed by one person. And what made his case worse was that after the suspicious dealer told his supervisor, who alerted surveillance, Zohaib claimed that his friend coerced him into doing the move, which only opened up the door to a conspiracy charge because more than one person was involved in the commission of the cheat move.

All in all, he got off cheap: four months in prison

My Take: These roulette cheats are falling like bowling pins over there in Singapore. It's hard for me to believe that they're going for such big moves and payoffs. In conclusion, I have to believe that there are better, more professional teams over there really taking down some big money via the cheat moves!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why Can't Aussies Figure Out Why Their Casinos Have Such a High Cheat Rate?

Well, it comes down to two reasons. The first is that they hire magicians instead of real knowledgeable people to wise them up in the areas of game- and slot-machine protection. Apparently casino officials down under still believe that magicians calling themselves game protection consultants really know something about cheating casinos. I have been telling casino people for years that magic has nothing to do with real casino cheating. But unfortunately these people fall in love with magicians' card tricks and hire them to protect their casinos from card-counters and cheats.

The second reason Australia's casinos are constantly being bombed by a variety of cheats is that there penalties upon casino-cheating convictions are very light. Whereas in the US organized casino cheats can get a decade behind bars, those caught down under rarely receive more than a three-figure fine. If the casinos are going to continue slapping the wrists of cheaters, they will be back as soon as the sting wears off, which is pretty quick.

This article in Gambling911 sums up pretty well what is going on in Australia's casinos:
"Down under in Australia, land of the convicts, seems some of those criminal tendencies keep coming to the surface at land based casinos and pubs. As the "Friendly Casino War" continues between James Packer owned Crown Casino in Melbourne and Star City in Sydney, its seems apparent that Sin City's Star have more of a cheating clientele, or at least that's what the official numbers are showing. Media Man and Gambling911 put on our private detective coats and load up the plastic handcuffs and batons with this special report.

Aussie's seem to have quite the cheating casino type make up according to information obtained by Media Man. Just as compulsive gambling may be in the genes as recently reported by Gambling911, so might be cheating and straight out stealing. The number of cheaters at Sydney's Star City Casino is alarming, and that's only the ones we know about.

Fines are being handed out left, right and centre, yet cheaters keep coming back for more. This may be linked to the face that Star City is Sydney's only land based casino, mind you, a $100 or so plane ticked will fly a punter down to Melbourne so they can try their luck at Crown Casino.
Fines issued to punters at Star are almost an every day occurrences we've learned. Cheats are trying every trick in the book, both old and new. Favorites include moving chips to winning numbers, underage teenagers showing fake IDs and banned patrons trying to worm into the casino.

Infringements at the Star volcanoed roughly 70% circa 2007-08, and this punting financial year is expected to further escalate. Cheaters caught totals 23 mongrel mug punters. The casino itself is not off the hook either. Tabcorp, the parent company of Star, has had its knuckles dusted by the casino regulator at least 4 times this punting year for breaches re responsible gaming requirements. Minors being located in gaming areas like slots, table games and the big wheel, are a major problem.

A source choosing to remain anonymous leaked "We understand the teens seem to like the Hollywood themed games and some of them see themselves at James Bond 007 types. Most of them also seem to know about Monopoly, Cleopatra, Queen Of The Nile, and of course poker. Gambling, gaming and poker is always in the news, the TV, the newspapers, magazines, associated with sports, so its just everywhere".

Media Man via News Limited secured figures that show that nine months to March 31 this year, 51 underage teens were busted trying to enter the casino using phony IDs.

Casino Penalties From Gaming Enforcer
20 breaches of responsible gaming rules, including:
* Teenage girl used fake ID to successfully get into the casino and busted drinking and gambling;
* Casino staff member who didn't immediately report a minor to a casino authority inspector;
* 17-year-old young bloke busted gambling on the premises; and
* 13 more kids, all aged under 14, busted in the casino area, however its understood it was accidental.

Star City's spokesman (casino) advised staff are being trained up to spot tech in fake IDs, which made up about 40% of the fines issued.

Sydney leading newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, reveled last week, there is a sophisticated operation run by teenagers that alters driver's licences for $80. It' a bit hit with teens who like casinos and exclusive clubs. Star City said the number of teens caught with fake IDs was fairly steady. They are reviewing its procedures and security staff were being trained to better identify phony cards.

A Star City spokesman "We review all breaches to see how we can improve our procedures to prevent minors gaining access to licensed areas. The numbers have remained pretty steady over the last few years but our security officers are constantly being trained to detect the latest style of fake IDs."

Daring excluded persons caught sneaking back into the casino rose significantly to 55. Anyone busted using a fake ID is fined $110, banned persons $550 and cheats $660.

Media Man is not a legal advisory service, but recommends Do We Cheatem & How. Just kidding!

Casino lovers, young and old, please obey the law. God knows we have enough serious casino crime to cover already, without listing you by name.
The rumour mill says Tony Clifton and Andy Kaufman are considering doing some jokes about casino cheats, so if you what to make the list, you know what it entails.