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Bank robber Willie Sutton was credited with having robbed multiple banks of over $2 million, making him one of the most prolific bank robbers of the 20th century. When a journalist asked him why he stole from banks, Sutton answered “Because that's where the money is.” The same can be said for casinos.

At any one time, a large Vegas casino can have millions of dollars in cash on hand, making it a lucrative target for thieves and scammers. Even smaller casinos keep tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in their tills and safes.

As safe and secure as our real online slots casino is, the land-based casinos have their Achilles heels, and it is the joy of those so inclined to discover and take advantage of their weak spots.

Casinos invest millions in the highest level of state-of-the-art security protocols but in some cases, the thieves either completely abscond with their ill-gotten gains or come close to it.

Cutter Gang

The Cutter Gang managed to scam casinos worldwide for years and, many believe, are still operating. The scam took place in the early 2010s when a group of professional gamblers won big at baccarat tables win at baccarat by using a tiny camera to peep cards.

Several members of the gang would play at a baccarat table and one of the players would hide a camera in his sleeve or cufflink. When the players were allowed to cut the deck after shuffling it, as is traditional at casino baccarat tables, the members of the team would spy the cards.

The gang member with the camera would accept the offer at the baccarat table, then, drag the cut card over the top of the deck, carefully separating the cards with his index finger as he did so. This recorded the cards’ sequence.

The player would then go to the restroom and pass the camera onto another member of the “team” who took the camera to the gang’s room. Other gamblers would analyze all winning combinations and relay their recommendations to the player who had returned to the table via a tiny earpiece.

Security at one of the casinos, the Cosmopolitan, suspected that the players were perpetuating some kind of scam but they didn’t know exactly what was happening so they didn’t conduct a full body search. They questioned gang members but released them when no evidence was forthcoming and the gang escaped.

Cutter Gang members plied their scam in other areas of the world and they were finally arrested in the Philippines. As of today, they escaped and have never been seen again.


Roulette Sting at the Ritz

One sting, which may, or may not, have happened over 20 years ago, occurred at London’s Ritz hotel when a crew of 4 is believed to have used a phone, a laser and a computer to take the Ritz for £1.3 million. The problem is, the scheme was so clever that authorities can’t prove that it actually happened.

Investigators claim that two men and a woman placed their bets according to what a computer had pinpointed as the most likely resting spot in the roulette wheel of the tossed ball.  For authorities, the problem is that most UK  gambling laws date back to the 19th century and the culprits here used 21st century tech.

The facts, as they are known, are that two men and a woman visited the Ritz twice in 2003, winning £100,000 the first night and  £1.2m the second night. Casino security believed that the gang’s success was due to "sector targeting" which involves determining the point at which the roulette ball is released and the point that it will pass after a spin or two.

Using that data, the player can calculate the ball's "decaying orbit" which allows him to anticipate the sector -- the area of the wheel – where the ball is likely to come to rest. It’s not a 100% reliable system but it can sway the odds in favor of the gambler.

Mental arithmetic can’t manage such a calculation but a computer can. It’s possible to feed data relating to the two points into a computer which will then calculate the “decaying orbit.” Authorities believe that the Ritz gang took the scam one step further by using a laser scanner which could calculate the speed of the ball more precisely.

The question for the courts was, was an “unlawful device” – which is illegal, according to the Gaming Act of 1845 – used? Or did the suspects simply use a system, which, currently, is not illegal. In the end, the 3 scammers were released from detention and allowed to keep their winnings.

Movin’ On

It’s hard to understand why scammers keep returning to the scene of their crimes, since logic dictates that it’s easier to catch someone if they’re running the same scams in the same spot. The smart ones intuitively move their scam onward, especially if it was successful in one area.

That’s what a slots hacking gang did after successfully hacking slot machine RTPs algorithms in the United States….they left the unfortunates to their fate but those who weren’t arrested moved to casinos in Europe and South America where, as far as authorities know, they are still bilking casinos of money.

The gang of Russians cracked the source code on Random Number Generators that power slot machines used around the world. Random Number Generators involve code inserted into every video gaming machine that ensures that all results are random, keeping the results of all spins, dice throws, ball tosses and card deals fair and unbiased.

By cracking the source code, the gang was able to achieve wins above and beyond what could be expected from random gaming activity. The scam came to light in June 2014 when casino security in St. Louis investigated the large payouts of Aristocrat Leisure casinos. The surveillance cameras noted that, when one specific player held his phone up to the screen, then came back to play, he would score big wins.

Authorities discovered that the gang had been running the scam for years and they were able to capture a few players but it quickly became apparent that the operation was being run from St. Petersberg where gang members reverse engineered aspects of a targeted machine’s RNG and that the scam would continue in new locations.

No new arrests were made after the 2014 detentions but casino experts believe that everything is still in place and that hackers are continuing in other areas of the globe.


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