In the beginning, God giveth us the slot machine and all was good. But, minutes later came its nemesis the slot machine crook. They lived life in an antagonistic harmony each one pushing the other to change and evolve their methods. There is a thing called the “Black book”. It’s a book that the casinos use to chronicle all the others (crooks) and methods the threats they used against them. Once you get in the book the only way out is – well, is there any? We can bring you the Top 8 Methods Used by Slot Machine Crooks!
Ah yes, the old string and coin aka the “yo-yo” aka Scrooge McDuck lucky coin. This method is as old as slots themselves and was only phased out recently as the early 00’s. If you were old enough to know someone pulling that stunt at the arcades (or were that person) you know one thing. It takes a lot of finesse to even get ten free games which probably isn’t enough for a fortune. That way it lands at Lawley 8th spot.
The Monkey’s Paw
Tommy Glenn was your typical tv repair man until one day in the 70’s he said, “to heck with this”. He then embarked on a 40-year journey producing gadget after gadget and being a general pest to Vegas casinos. The first of his masterpieces was the monkey’s paw or the slider (top and bottom tool?). Look, it had many names but it was essentially a piece of malleable steel and a guitar weir.
Now, that might seem simple, but it took him over half a year to perfect it. Essentially it worked by jamming it in the slot of the slot and triggering the mechanism. It’s so low on the list because Carmichael made even more ingenious gadgets that we will be coming to shortly.
Funny Money / Forged Money
When it comes to fake coins aka “slug” one name must be mentioned before all else. Louis ‘the Coin’ Colavecchio. Active from the early 80’s all the way till his final arrest in 2019, he had a prolific career counterfeiting.
He dabbled in banknotes but his true passion was in the art of the slot coin. Used the hardened steel dies of the original coins which made the fake coins look nearly identical. He was so successful it made casinos move away from coins to paper vouchers which is quite the feat. Due to the initial success of his crimes, casinos have slowly phased out tokens, replacing them with paper vouchers.
The Light Wand
Tommy Glenn Carmichael is back at it again with a slightly more sophisticated approach. Introducing the light wand, a $3 device used to make a less brute force breach this time. Still, the design was pretty straightforward, a camera battery and a miniature light bulb.
This was, of course, an answer to the slot machines’ new sensors which made the above mentioned Monkey’s Paw obsolete. The light wand blinded the sensor, which made it oblivious to how many coins it was dispensing. Now, as stated above, the casinos eliminate coins in favor of paper which would put a stop to Carmichael’s antics for good. But, the Eddison of slots got one more trick up his sleeve…
Looking like a tongue depressor, the aptly named “Tongue” was Carmichael one way ticket to retirement. Used as a counter to the new tickets in, ticks out slots or TITO for short. Now, the new slots didn’t reward you in coins but they did accept them.
This created a need for a light sensor which was all the room Carmichael needed. Fooling the middle light of the three-part sensor, Carmichael was scouring in the thousands. But it was all for not because the FBI was wiretapping him for the get-go. So, he was caught and apprehended. He was sentenced to serve 326 days in jail and was forbidden to set foot near Vegas ever again. Now for a break from our sponsor, Casino Extreme!
Top 8 Methods Used by Slot Machine Crooks returns with: the “Jackpotter”, a deftly effective remote device, that’s still popular to this day. If you can sneak it in. Even our buddy “the Coin” was a fan of these bad boys and for good measure. With just a push of a button, it sends a coin-counting signal that activates the slot mechanism.
And cha-ching, the coins keep pouring out. Not even the paper vouchers’ line of defense can make a difference against these bad boys. The only thing is that you need quite a lot of technical know-how to make one of these.
Computer chips manipulation was the new hot thing with the rise of RNG slots. With above-average knowledge of programming, you could do wild things with slots. Such are the stories of Ronald Harris and the Dennis Nikraschs gang.
The first was the programmer working for Nevada Gaming Control Board. The second was a mobster employing a whole team of programs working casinos all around the country. Harris in particular used the source code and a pattern of coin insertions to trigger a jackpot.
So, he could essentially come in as quality control, reprogram the slots, put in his combos of coins and bam! No one was the wiser. Both of these crocks knew the in and outs of the new chip-based slots. Both got filthy rich ($20+ million that we know of) and both got caught eventually. I mean everyone on the list got caught. Right!? Well…
PRNG Cracker App
With slots getting ever more digital they started using more complex algorithms for predicting the results of the spins. This breed is the new breed of slot crooks or should I say, slot hackers. Most of them haven’t been caught because of their low profile (hitting around 2000-3000 dollars max). There are some rumours that there is a large-scale operation situated in Russia.
But rumours shroomers, what do they do actually? Well, you basically record the slot on a camera, run the footage in the app that already has the RNG algorithm of the slot pre-cracked. And in a few seconds, it spits out the best time to pool a liver for the jackpot. But, do you know what also takes a few seconds, Casino Yabby instant withdrawals! That’s all from the Top 8 Methods Used by Slot Machine Crooks! See ya.
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