Gamblers are now using miniature cameras, Infrared devices, Phones and many other elaborate designs to gain substantial advantages. These are referred to as predictive devices and have been the cause of swift developments in the gaming industry. Initially, cheating in a gaming aspect has been defined as manipulating a game’s rules. Many jurisdictions, including Nevada, state this is accomplished by altering the selection of outcome, acquiring knowledge of the outcome of the game that is unavailable to all players, and Increasing or decreasing the amount of one’s wager after learning the result of the random event.
Card counting was one of the first major tests of this definition. It has been ruled as not cheating because a card counter does not alter any of the basic features of the game, but merely takes advantage of the same information that is available to all players. With regards to technology and predictive devices, no laws prohibited players from betting In games, with or without the aid of a device, which they can accurately predict the outcome as long as all other players of the game have the Information available. The first major cheating scandal Involving technology was discovered in
Lake Tahoe in 1977. Five players were playing in various resorts around Lake Tahoe and consistently winning without card counting. Hurrah’s eventually detained and searched one of them. Electronic devices the size of a pack of cigarettes that were connected to a small keypad operated through a hole in a pocket were confiscated. Another was detained and found to have a radio receiver hidden In the heel of her shoe. Neither the casinos nor the police could figure out the Intricacies of the device and how they worked.
The Nevada Gaming Commission could not figure it out as well o the FBI ultimately reported that it was simply a computer that could predict blackjack strategies. It was not considered a cheating device because the computers did not interfere with the game. Therefore, all charges against the five individuals were dropped. This did however lead to casinos lobbying to make these devices illegal through new laws. The Nevada legislature passed the state’s first device law In 1985. MRS. 465. 075 prohibited using devices to analyze or predict casino games.
The law however faced many challenges in the following years. It was challenged for being overly vague and road because the law was unspecific by using the term “any device”. Soon after its enactment, a blackjack player, who used computer devices in his shoes, tested the law. A district court ruled that MRS. 465. 075 was unconstitutionally vague but an Court however did state that the law would be considered vague in other situations. Due to these events, two separate tests were installed to help clarify the law and remove questions of vagueness. This led to a revised statue in 2011.
Key points include clarification of the vague term devices and the expansion of the people covered to those who assist others in the role. It also covered the new issue of casinos using electronic devices for play analysis and com tracking. Several other states have attempted to instill harsher penalties on those using electronic devices such as New Jerseys minimum $75,000 fine. Overall, twenty-one states have some version of predictive gaming laws. All parties involved with protecting the integrity and fairness of gaming understand that current trends show that problems involving technology will increase exponentially.
Computers are guaranteed to become faster, smaller and more affordable allowing numerous players to obtain devices that are essentially undetectable. Casinos have always relied on catching players in the act and learning about devices from those that they confiscate. Unfortunately, detecting devices are becoming more difficult because players are becoming less likely to have the device on them. Bluetooth, cellular networks and remote devices designed to aid a gamblers are sure to free them of chargers because the cell phones and Bluetooth devices are party of everyday items that anyone carries.
It would be nearly impossible for casinos to differentiate between players using these for normal activities and players using them to obtain an unfair advantage. Casinos are exhausting all resources available to counteract these devices. However, their knowledge is increasing at a much slower rate than that of predictive device growth. The casinos best defense as of now is identifying potential cheaters and asking them to not play any games. They can effectively bar them from their casino and share their knowledge with surrounding casinos.
This could possibly lead to a loss of gaming revenue if individuals are improperly identified as cheaters. Negative publicity could also arise. In the end, this is the casinos only way of counteracting cheating and the benefits clearly outweigh he costs. After conducting thorough research on technology’s affect on gaming, I went to the Contrast Hotel and Casino to interview Elaine Bushman to gain a casino employee’s insight on this intriguing topic. Elaine has worked in the casino industry for over twelve years and has been a pit boss for three years.
I would assume that key employees would not be willing to share information regarding casino operations, but I am a Lass Vegas native and have gambled regularly at the Contrast for the past five years. Over the course of these years, I have been able to build a good rapport tit Elaine through several comedic and enjoyable conversations. Our discussion allowed me to gain information regarding training conducted by dealers and table games personnel to recognize cheating, standard operating procedures, and known incidents of gamblers using predictive devices to gain an advantage at the Contrast.
Elaine explained that the most basic preventive controls that are used include not allowing any cell phones or electronic devices to be used at the tables and allowing players to touch cards at certain blackjack tables with only one hand. Sunglasses are also prohibited in certain places. It was interesting to note that these same rules at the table because they are not playing against the house. With regards to personnel instruction, dealers are required to report all inordinate behaviors and anything that can raise suspicion to their supervisors in a timely manner.
Weekly reports are distributed with information of recently discovered cheating techniques. Daily reports are issued when necessary and these reports typically include photos of suspected cheaters from surrounding casinos. These are used to give personnel knowledge of what to look out for and who to be cautious of. The pit bosses are milliamp with the most up to date device laws that were discussed earlier. They have also studied the minimum internal control standards that we have learned about in our class studies.
Pit bosses must fully comprehend the MISS and ensure that they are followed at all times not only to ensure the integrity of the game by minimizing the opportunity for cheating, but they also must be followed so that penalties are not handed out for not being in compliance with rules and regulations. It was intriguing to learn about these procedures, but I was already aware of many of them Just from my time spent gambling. Skilled individuals could very easily work their ways around those procedures with various devices. Many of the casino’s precautions seemed vague.
Essentially there is no way of catching cheaters other than the combination of pit bosses and surveillance cameras. These individuals typically have years of experience and knowledge of various techniques. The combination of pit bosses and surveillance personnel however has done a good Job of catching individuals in the act of cheating. Learning about the different incidents the Contrast has seen was by far the most interesting part of the interview. One gambler that was detained was using a type of ink that was invisible to the eye to mark cards.
The ink could be seen through infrared contact lenses that were being worn by the gambler. Surveillance was able to uncover the act but not until the gamblers third visit. Another gambler was caught hiding a miniature camera up his sleeve. Gamblers using various smart phone applications are the most recent and common act of cheating. A blackjack card counting app was developed with a stealth mode feature that allows the gambler to operate the app without ever taking the phone out of the pocket. The fact that the app is so readily available contributes to this being so common.
Many younger gamblers have tried this technique because it seems fun or they Just wanted to see if actually worked. This technique is rarely successful because it is easy for casino personnel to spot someone constantly playing with their hand in their pocket. Elaine agreed with my earlier findings, which indicated that predictive devices are a quickly rising issue that casinos will never be able to gather enough information to keep up with the advances of cheaters. In summary, the rise of advanced technology in the gaming industry has caused casinos, the gaming control board, and law making personnel to react swiftly.