Security has been a significant concern for casinos since the very beginning. They dedicate vast amounts of time and resources to investigate new forms of cheating, design surveillance strategies, monitor their employees' financial activity, and usually hire top lawyers to pursue those who attempt to deceive them to make an example out of them.
While the most common form of scam is through internal staff who agree to play roles as criminal accomplices, with dealers throwing wrong cards or acknowledging false bets, it is difficult to find someone messing up with the slots' software.
Nevertheless, much before these popular games relied on random number generators, they were exposed to some clever scams. Here are some of them.
- Coin retrieving. This one's from the good ol' days. Cheaters would attach a string to the coin and re-insert it as much as they wanted for free extra credits. The game didn't hold much money back then so. It's not like it made anyone rich.
- Counterfeit currency. Another smart move by the slot machine hackers back in the day. Louis Colavecchio managed to produce enough fake change to make more than half a million dollars in profit before being caught in 1998 and sent to prison for seven years. Casinos no longer use coins and switched to tickets that are redeemed at their cashiers.
- Shaved coins. By changing the shape of the coin, criminals would trick the machine into triggering neverending games and play as many rounds as they wanted by using one single currency. This trick would work only on a few slots, which mechanism got upgraded rapidly.
- Hunting for credits. A common practice that hurts nobody. People wander around the casino floor hunting for credits other players might have left in their slots. The less elegant form of "cheating."
- The most famous way a slot machine has been hacked included a guitar wire and a piece of steel. Its creator, Tom Carmichael, made millions of dollars by stopping the internal device of the machine when it was paying out and taking advantage of it. He got eventually caught by the cops and did some prison time.
Are There Any Slot Machines Cheats Nowadays?
There will always be people trying to make money effortlessly, and as long as casinos exist, they will be targets for these scammers. The only people who would know how to cheat slot machines are the software engineers from the companies who supply casinos with games, and perhaps a junction between software engineers and casino staff.
The list of possible thieves has narrowed. These employees are under constant surveillance, with most of their financial accounts under revision. Casinos certainly look like they have everything in control but, do they? Take a look at what happened in Ocean's Eleven. There's always a way!