Shhh! Scammers Cheating Casinos Out of Millions Using New Technology

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OV Disclaimer: Neither Opposing Views nor the author of this article condone cheating or stealing of any kind, in any casino except those owned by Sheldon Adelson.

Gambling is big business in America. In 2011, U.S. casinos hauled in around $62.8 billion, according to Yahoo! News. The owner of Las Vegas’ notorious Luxor hotel & casino famously said the only way to make money at a casino is to own one. For the most part, he hit the nail on the head…unless you’re willing to cheat, that is.

Casino cheating has been an art form since the advent of gambling. From card counting to bet capping, the rewards are simply too big to resist for the amoral miscreants among us. Worldwide Casino consultant George Joseph estimates that casinos lose tens of millions of dollars every year to cheats both big and small.

He suspects that the majority of gambling cheaters make their living at the card tables. After all, it’s much easier to fool a living, breathing human being than a machine.

But a new piece of technology might be changing that equation.

Casino security managers are reporting slot machine bill validator devices popping up from Las Vegas to Mohegan Sun. Though it sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, the hi-tech piece of thievery equipment is really just a new twist on the old coin attached to a string heist popularized in the 1960s.

The device itself is typically disguised as $1 bill. It has two prongs on its end that are inserted into the bill validation slot of a slot machine. Once the prongs hit a specific contact point inside the machine, that particular unit becomes “rigged” and will now read every bill inserted as a $100 bill. With $100 worth of credits for every single inserted into a slot machine, a gambler can obviously improve his or her odds considerably.

Always quick to adapt, many casinos in Las Vegas have already retro-fitted their machines to combat bill validator devices. Prospective cheaters will have to search out less savvy casinos to try their hands at this cheat. Beware, however, criminal penalties for cheating at a casino range from small fines up to six years in prison.