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Usui Takumi

Slot machine Fraud

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11004/1115414-58.stm

Moments before he was to stand trial for bilking The Meadows Racetrack and Casino out of nearly a half-million dollars in fraudulent jackpots, a Swissvale man was arrested Monday by federal authorities, who say he actually may have stolen as much as $1.4 million from casinos in the U.S. and abroad.

"I wasn't there, but I heard that he was fairly surprised," Washington County District Attorney Steven Toprani said about the reaction of Andre Nestor, 39, who was arrested by FBI agents as he prepared to enter the courtroom of Common Pleas Court Judge Janet Moschetta Bell.

Federal agents acted quickly to arrest Mr. Nestor -- who had been free on $100,000 bail -- before the beginning of his trial on 650 felony counts of theft, criminal conspiracy, computer trespassing and other charges.

Mr. Nestor and an associate were accused of exploiting a software glitch in a slot machine at the North Strabane casino so it would display bogus jackpots. But authorities in Nevada say the scheme was much larger and involved casinos in Las Vegas and perhaps worldwide.

Agents on Sunday obtained an arrest warrant on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Mr. Nestor and John Kane of Las Vegas.

After meeting with federal officials, Mr. Toprani said he agreed to turn over prosecution of The Meadows case to the U.S. attorney's office in Nevada, which will consolidate the case with others.

"We were very happy to support the FBI in this investigation," Mr. Toprani said, noting that The Meadows case would be an essential element in the federal prosecution. "This will be a global prosecution."

The pair, according to police, had knowledge of a software glitch in one of the high-bet slot machines. In order to expose the glitch, a special "double-up" feature had to be internally activated. The men persuaded casino technicians to alter "soft" options on the machines, such as volume and screen brightness controls. Such perks aren't unusual for high-rollers, who can wager anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars in one day.

One Meadows employee, who was not criminally charged or accused of wrongdoing, agreed to enable the double-up feature on the machine with the glitch.

Normally, such a feature would allow a player to risk doubling his winnings or potentially losing them all. The double-up feature isn't usually enabled on the machines in part because it's unpopular with most gamblers, who are unwilling to risk large amounts of money..........

Am I the only the only one who thinks that while this was unethical its a stretch to call it criminal? They didn't do anything physically to the machines. Shouldn't the responsibility rest on the manufacturer? Sure if they are messing with hardware, or bringing in a device to mess with the software it would be reasonable to charge them. But in this case, they just happened to know what buttons to press......

I don't know, it seems to be the casino industry gets "special" treatment with regards to the law.

Edited by Sousuke

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Well, others with more knowledge can comment, but isn't the gambling industry subject to exceptionally stringent standards and laws?


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

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Well, others with more knowledge can comment, but isn't the gambling industry subject to exceptionally stringent standards and laws?

I don't know, they can label someone as a card counter and throw them out easily enough. These machines are apparently very wormy because they have software errors all the time. If you win on a software error, you lose.

At the end of the day, the House always wins. Even if the mistake is on their end. (Which by the way, I'd understand if they wanted to confiscate the winnings but criminal charges??)

Edited by Sousuke

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