Monday, October 10, 2016

Hotel Room Poker Scandal Takes Place in China

The Marker
A favovite of conspiring poker cheats who do not like risking their asses by cheating inside casinos and public cardrooms is to set up their poker cheat scams and victims inside hotel rooms. This tactic, made infamous by the 2007 Atlantic City Borgota Hotel Room Scam, which implicated ex-anti casino-cheat game protection consultant Steve Forte, has surfaced once again in the Chinese city of Dali.

I do not know if this Dali poker-cheat scam was as artistically drawn up as a tableau by the famous painter of the same name, but it did hook a sucker for around ten grand!

Read the full article here.

My take: Well, setting up a poker scam in a hotel room that is not on a casino property should be a lot less riskier for the poker cheats involved, but these cheats were pretty damn stupid in as much as they hung out in the hotel room after the scam was done, and when the victim reported his suspicions and brought the police to the scene of the scam, they found boxes of marked cards as well as the special contact lenses used to see the markings on the cards.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Nevada Gaming Control Board Enforcement Division Chief Gives the Lowdown on Casino Cheating

NGCB Chief on Cheating
James Taylor, the deputy chief Of the NGCB's Enforcement Division, told a packed seminar room at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas that casino cheating and scams are on the rise and that 25% of Nevada's casino cheats are the casinos' own employees.

He spoke about a wide range of casino-cheat activities, everything from high-tech scams to desperados grabbing players' chips off the tables and running out the doors.

Ironically, he said that these chip grab-and-run scams are the state's biggest casino-cheat headache and are also the hardest to stop and catch the cheats involved.

He said that casino cheats are becoming more sophisticated with high-tech scams like marking cards with invisible ink and reading them with special glasses or contact lenses

He also expressed his sadness that so much casino management was involved in crimes against the casinos they work at.

You can read the complete news article here.

My take: I agree with Mr. Taylor when he says that the basic scams are often the most difficult to stop. After all, my notorious Savannah scam was so easy and basic but the casinos could never figure it out--not even with an FBI investigation!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

BrainChip Technology to Further Thwart Casino Cheats?

Brain Chip or Brain Dud?
A high-tech company out of Australia called BrainChip says it has developed a new technology called Game Outcome that will greatly help casinos catch the highest level cheats at the baccarat tables as well as throughout the whole casino. BrainChip says its new technology will also catch dealer errors and make sure that players at the tables receive their fair share of comps based on their betting action.

The technology works by using video streams from standard surveillance cameras that recognizes sequences of played cards, proper dealing techniques in conjunction with winning hands and proper payouts. A spokesman for the company claimed the technology was like having a full time surveillance operator assigned to every gaming table in the casino.

BrainChip says their technology could save casinos up to $50 million per year.

For more on this read the newspaper article.

My take: This sounds to me like another over-hyped method of detecting and stopping cheating at poker and casinos, much the way all that biometrica surveillance stuff supposedly spots casino cheats entering target casinos before they even get their clothes on at home.

Besides, is saving $50 per year in casinos worldwide such a big deal?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Yet Another Casino-Chip-Color-Up Roulette Scam

Same Colors Different Values
It just keeps happening.

The seemingly ridiculous roulette scam where one player buys in for a color of minimum-denomination roulette chips, then holds on to a few while cashing out the rest, then passes those kept to a roulette-cheat partner who buys in for the same color chips at a different table for a higher denominaion, and then upon cashing those out, mixes in the chips received from the original cheat.

And it just keeps working.

The cheat scheme usually sees the first roulette cheat buying fifty-cent or one-dollar roulette chips while the second roulette cheat cashes out a handful of them at another table as twenty-five-dollar roulette chips.

So the profit is $24 per chip.

A skilled roulette cheat team working a busy night in a big casino with lots of roulette tables can make off with several thousand dollars during a single shift.

The latest instance of this roulette color-up scam resulting in a bust occurred at the L'auberge Casino in Baton Rouge Louisiana. The reported take was  nearly $5,000 and the person responsible was twenty-eight-year-old Emiliano Rodriguez of the Bronx, NY, where a large number of these roulette color-up cheats come from.

The roulette cheat scam is generally done at Native American Casinos or in Riverboat Casino districts where roulette scammers believe casino security and surveillance is less efficient than in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Ohio casinos have been especially hard hit by this roulette scam the  past few years.

And, unbelievably, the majority of these scams go unnoticed by casino authorities in all types of casinos.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bitcoin Online Casinos Cheaing Risk?

Should you?
The newest fashion for online poker and casino operators to skirt US justice and entice US online poker and casino players has evolved into Bitcoin casinos.

Many are popping up now all over the Internet. The idea exploited by these online casino operators is that since the Bitcoin is almost a perfectly undectable currency, online poker and casino players can trade with it to avoid problems with US banks and Credit Card companies when conducting financial transactions with these online gaming companies.

Yes, this is quite an effective method to lure US online gamblers, but how safe is the actual gaming and poker-playing on Bitcoin gaming sites?

And how safe is your account?

Well, the first two issues to examine are whether or not the Bitcoin casino is licensed and regulated, and whether or not it has a strong support system to aid players on the site. If the answer to either of these questions is no, the riskier it may be to play on the site.

However, off-setting these concerns is the simple fact that if a Bitcoin casino operates on the same premise of all other online casinos, which is the built-in house advantage that they all enjoy, it really has no motivation to cheat, especially if it has plans to remain in the competitive market for any length of time.

Many of you may remember, however, that in the early days of online poker and casinos, there were many fly-by-night online casino bust-out operations where the casinos cheated their customers and emptied out their accounts, before disappearing from the Web entirely without a trace.

I would think this would be the biggest risk encountered by a player on a new Bitcoin site, even though that risk would be quite small.

My overall view: If Bitcoin casinos are your best option for gambling online, don't worry too much about being a cheating victim.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Casino Player Card Cheat Scams on the Rise at US Casinos

Mother/Daughter Player Card Cheats
As department stores and banks have always been victims of credit card fraud, casinos are more and more becoming victims of their own player card frauds.

And most of these scams are originating from casinos' own employees.

By changing personal data and accumulating bonus points using the cards, the phony cardholders win prizes and sometimes get lucky and win jackpots. Recently at the Golden Nugget Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, a mother-daughter casino cheat team, both of whom were casino employees, got arrested for committing a player card casino scam.

The mother, Alicia Harrison, who worked at the Golden Nugget, was altering the player cards and giving them to her daughter Crystal, an employee at the nearby Island View Casino in Gulfport, who won a series of jackpots totalling more than $10,000 using an assortment of falsified player cards.

This player card casino cheat scam has been prevalent in many of the country's gambling jurisdictions, even in Las Vegas, where the sums pilfered from casinos can be much higher than what happens in Mississippi casinos.

My take: This seems to be a casino scam that almost always blows up in the perpetrators' faces.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Media-Peeker Poker Cheat is Convicted and Nets Three and half Years in Prison

This poker cheat will have lots of time to reflect
His name is Ali Tekintamgac. He was born in Turkey but now has German citizenship.

And he's just set a record for the longest prison term ever given to a poker cheat--3.5 years.

Tekintamgac is a champion. In 2010 he won more than $300,000 at the Spanish World Poker Tour Championship. But later that year he was refused entry at the Partouche Poker Tour main event after allegations of cheating began to surface.

The alleged cheating-tactic employed by Tekintamgac was using phony media members (or sometimes real ones) of supplying him with information about opponents hands during big poker tournaments. These media guys used their cameras to zoom-in on poker hands of players across the table from Tekintamgac, then signalled the poker cheat the value of their hole cards.

This was pretty well caught on video.

Apparently, there were a handful of accomplices involved in the poker-cheat plot and one of them flipped on Tekintamgac to testify against him.

My take: I have for more than a decade been talking, writing and blogging about the wide scale cheating in major poker tournaments across the world. As entry fields in these events keep on growing, the old favorable poker-tournament method of cheating, collusion and chip-dumping, is not as profitable as it once was, therefore, poker tournament cheats need to invent new creative methods like Tekintamgac has.

All in all, I am quite surprised by the severity of the sentence, even more so that it came out of Germany.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Please Marina Bay Sands Singapore..Say it ain't so!--AGAIN!

Marina Bay Sands Cheating Labyrinth
It has happened again! Just unbelievable but yet ANOTHER insider dealer casino-cheat scam has rocked the Singapore Marina Bay Sands.

I really cannot believe this. Just after I posted an article about a team stealing a loaded baccarat shoe right out of a card rack on the casino floor right in the baccarat room, another Marina Bay Sands dealer has pleaded guilty to stealing chips right off his table by stuffing them into his Bermuda shorts and then giving them to his accomplice to cash out.

And if that wasn't enough, he was also dumping more chips off to this same accomplice in the form of paying ties and losing bets on the baccarat table.

So, I have finally come up with a formula that could be copyrighted for the annals of baccarat cheating in Singapore.


This time the cheating dealer, Jiang Kaiwen, told the judge he had felt slighted and unappreciated by his fellow casino workers and bosses, and that none of them backed him up when the casino's customers made fun of him. In fact, he claimed his peers took the side of the patrons abusing him.

Mr. Kaiwen and his casino-cheat cohort, Li Zhifan, decided to make the Marina Bay Sands casino pay--and pay they did! As much as $140,000 in a single month.

I have read that Marina Bay Sands surveillance department ran back the baccarat tapes when they were told by accountants doing an audit that the numbers were off.

Well. I'm not sure I believe that--but what I am sure of is that the Marina Bay Sands Casino is the biggest casino-cheats candy store in the entire world!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

All Those TV Casino Surveillance Cheat Shows

Ridiculous Travel Channel sketch
Many of you who read this blog probably have seen at least a few of those casino cheat and casino surveillance TV documentary programs usually aired by the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Learning Channel and History Channel. They now appear almost as often as poker shows do.

Are the stories they depict accurate? Is the information they shell out the truth?

First, let me give you the general format of these shows. They usually pit casino surveillance and security people against current and ex-casino cheats. They give each cheat's personal story and each casino surveillance or security guy's account (usually in braggadocio fashion) of how they nab the cheats.

The last one of these shows I saw was the Travel Channel's "Las Vegas Surveillance: Cheats and Scams." It profiled the stories of famous slot machine cheats Tommy Glenn Carmichael and Dennis Nikrasch, each of whom wreaked havoc on Las Vegas during two decades and cheated the town's slot machines out of tens of millions.

On the casino surveillance side were the usual suspects, mainly Ted Whiting, the director of surveillance of the Aria Center City casino who's become the "casino surveillance star" of these shows, and James Hartley, a former cop K-9 officer who literally barks out like one of his dogs at the camera, "If you cheat in a casino you will go to prison!"

Certainly may be true, but watching Hartley in his gung-ho sytle is a bit hard to take.

I found that Tommy Carmichael's story and the way he recounted it was really refreshing and well done. There is no doubt as to Mr. Carmichael's intelligence and personality, and I, as one ex-casino cheat, certainly have lots of respect for the other. His creativity and diligence in developing method after method to combat slot machine manufactures' advances in security is of the uppermost grade.

Listening to Whiting and Hartley, we get the obvious we-always-win attitude, but more regressing are the terrible re-creations of casino-cheat scams, some of which bring in overstated card trickster Sal "The Hitman" Piacente to display how players and dealers cheat inside casinos.

The main problem with the whole surveillance/security side of these casino shows is that it shows all the high-tech equipment and systems installed to detect and catch casino cheats but then degenerates into really bad sketch-accounts of what goes down with the cheats they're chasing.

The real footage of cheats that they do show does not enhance their argument much.

In summation, I would say that some of these shows are worth watching, mostly to see and hear the histories of some of these notorious casino cheats.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Are there ANY opportunities to successfully employ Blackjack Card Counting against Continuous Shuffle Machines?

Card-counting Killer
Well, for years now, Continuous Shuffle Machines (CSMs) have nearly obliterated blackjack card-counting on the tables on which they are used. But, of course, there are those blackjack card-counting die-hards that still try to beat them.

So, can they?

In theory, yes. But the advantage they may obtain would be both short and shortlived.

Several blackjack card-counting gurus, such as Elliot Jacobson, have spoken about intrinsic "latency" with CSMs. This means there is a drag or delay of the cards used in the last round before they are back into the shuffle-mix. Since the cards for the next round are already prepared, the cards used in the previous round are not inclusive in the total cards remaining in the deck, therefore the counter can tally them up and come-up with a count estimation of a small advantage.

"Small" because there is never more than one round played in any given situation. Unless each player and the dealer at a filled 7-spot table hit several times and use almost a full deck of cards, there would not be a true positive count of any significance.

So in spite of the theory that CSMs are vulnerable to card counters, in practice it is a waste of time.

An important thing to note, however, is that CSMs are not completely taking over land-based casinos' blackjack tables. They are expensive for casinos to buy, lease and maintain, and many valued non-counting customers simply don't like them and refuse to play at tables that use them.

So there are still plenty of tables worldwide for card-counters looking to avoid continuous shuffling machines.