Most systems are designed to achieve a specific purpose. From computer systems to gaming machines, these systems perform specific functions for which they are designed. Hacking involves intrusive, unauthorised access into a system or network with the aim of achieving a goal which differs from the aim the system was designed for.
In most cases, the goal of hacking is nefarious. It is to cause some form of harm to a system, disrupt a network and even go as far as to gain profits fraudulently from a system. This is where casinos are at risk. An individual involved in hacking is called a hacker and they are in it for personal gain.
Recalling that hacking is done on systems, within a casino it might be difficult to hack table games but there has been an instance where players have been caught ‘counting cards’ which in itself is a form of hacking. The player or hacker employs a method that invades a system of playing cards which should be perfectly random and what the hackers intend to achieve here would be a huge win or like it is called’ taking the whole pot’. This way the hacker not only profits from this disruption but ends up cheating the casino out of its money.
One of the most popular means by which hackers gain unauthorised access to a system for their own personal gain is by hacking into the slot machines of some casinos. The games on most slot machines are random or supposed to be random. This is possible through a government-approved software which all casinos employ on their slot machines. This software is designed to ensure that games played on the slots will fulfil the requirement of luck and chance but also give the casino a mathematical edge where they make their profits.
This software is made from code which is a series of numbers formed to make an algorithm which generates the random games known as the RNG(random number generator). The slot machines work with this complex software program which spins and randomizes the outcome of the games played. What this means is any player can win at any time.
Now, this randomness created by the computer software is man-made and so can be susceptible to manipulation. This manipulation can be done mostly manually as with the case of popular scammer Murat Bliev a 37-year-old Russian.
This case begins in June of 2014 when Lumiere Place Casino noticed some of their slot machines had like they though malfunctioned. What they didn’t know at the time was, the slot machines did not go haywire, but they were hacked. Now, the software which these machines run on is designed in such a way that the casino earns a certain amount on every dollar spent.
But Lumiere Place noticed that their slot machines, despite not recording any jackpots both minor or major, had spit out more money than they had consumed. This aberration noticed by the casino accountants led to a review of security footage which in turn led to the identification of Murat Bliev. He was later linked to a Russian syndicate in St. Petersburg.
In 2009, Russia outlawed gambling. This was in a bid by the Russian government to reduce organized crime. In the aftermath of this law, casinos sold off their gaming machines. Most were sold at a discount and fell into the hands of the Russian syndicate.
They, in turn, used these old machines to learn about the software used to run them and also the process by which you can load games unto the slot machines. It was this knowledge that Murat Bliev employed, through the use of his smartphone which he was captured on camera holding up close to the machine before he pressed the button and made the winning of $1300 with a $3 bet.
Following this trend, he was able to rake in $21,000 over a three day period. It was found that he played only at the older slot machines in the casino especially the Aristocrat machines manufactured by Aristocrat Leisure of Australia. He was apprehended in December of 2014 along with 3 other scammers, prosecuted and sentenced to a few years in prison.
Most casinos are able to spot these possible breaches to their systems when they remain alert. One possible way to stay ahead of casino hacking asides from upgrade insecurity is through follow-ups of reviews. For example, syndicate casino reviews show that it is a casino which has no record of any form of hack. They are secure and the games played in the casino are indeed random in addition to being free from manipulation.
So, to answer the question if casino hacking is true or false? It is indeed true that physical machines are able to be hacked but most online casinos are protected from such intrusive, unauthorised access. This is so because they employ the latest technology in security to ensure the safety of their players and their funds.
The reality of casino hacking will continue. This is because the St. Petersburg scammers which were prosecuted where not the only perpetrators which the syndicate sent out. There is believed to be a number of other criminals like these four which have infiltrated other casinos. Although we cannot confirm where these individuals are plying their trade, it is believed more of them are out there.
The duty rests on the security personnel within casinos to ensure that such forms of hacking are stopped, or the criminals caught. On the part of the slot machine manufacturers, they could do their part by recalling the old models of slot machines which have been compromised through hacking and offer newer models which are safer for casinos and players. This might seem to be an impossible task with the thousands of machines out there but its either a recall or a tighter upgrade of the computer systems inside the slot machines.