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Thread: Advantage play / cheating / crime....where is the line?

  1. #1
    Advantage play, cheating, crime....where do you draw the line? Obviously the definition of advantage play is pretty simple. Playing with an advantage. By this definition even the most illegal things like capping bets, marking cards would be an advantage play. But I don't think any reasonable person or AP would consider it so. So where is the line?

    Obviously except in the mind of the casino industry, things like card counting or vulturing machines, isn't cheating or illegal. And just as obvious things like marking cards and light wands are cheating and illegal. But what about the grey area in between. With table games things like hole-carding? Not illegal but is it cheating?

    On the machine side, like I said, I don't think anyone outside the casino industry would consider vulturing cheating or illegal. And it is pretty clear that using a device like a lightwand or other electronic device to jam or alter the electronics is both cheating and illegal. But again what about the grey area in between?

    What if a player discovers a glitch that allows for a higher payout or a payout of jackpot hands at a higher denomination than was actually played and won? Is this a legitimate advantage play? Is it cheating? Is it illegal? I mean, I guess technically the player hasn't done anything illegal. Maybe some legalese thing like knowingly accepting payment you weren't entitled to. I don't know.

    One final question. Suppose someone is charged but the government can't make the case and ends up dropping the charges such as the Game King double up case. Was the act still illegal?

    I am anxious to hear the views of all my fellow AP's especially you Rob Singer?

  2. #2
    As a follow up question, if hypothetically of course, someone had done this for a number of years in the mid 2000's and stopped about the time they became aware that others had been arrested for it, I wonder what the statute of limitations would be for being charged for any possible crime?

    I am guessing right about now. So (again hypothetically) someone might now feel comfortable coming forward to discuss it. I'd be damn sure though.

  3. #3
    And I really would like to hear opinions of other members, both AP's and non-APs, as this could be a good discussion, so I will start. While an advantage play yes, I would consider this kind of thing cheating if not illegal and would not be impressed by implementation of such activity.

    But watching the casino industry move closer and closer to what I consider the cheating and illegal lines, I am of the mindset lately that almost anything goes....that there are no real lines anymore.

  4. #4
    Moses... are you using kewlJ's account??

  5. #5
    As asked for my input---

    Statute of Limitations for criminal acts:

    Federal: 5 years.
    Nevada: 4 years.
    Arizona: 7 years.
    DAMN SURE: 10 years.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Suppose someone is charged but the government can't make the case and ends up dropping the charges such as the Game King double up case. Was the act still illegal?
    KewlJ, IMHO, it wasn't illegal (and not cheating). The reason I think this way is because the player has the right to push buttons on a publicly accessible device in any sequence they choose. If the machine is physically altered by the player then I think it is illegal (and cheating).

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by tableplay View Post
    KewlJ, IMHO, it wasn't illegal (and not cheating). The reason I think this way is because the player has the right to push buttons on a publicly accessible device in any sequence they choose. If the machine is physically altered by the player then I think it is illegal (and cheating).
    It's not about pushing buttons, IMO, it's about receiving and accepting payment in amounts much greater than the jackpot that you actually played and won. You don't think that is either illegal or cheating?

    And if it's not illegal why would there be any concern about statute of limitations?

    Funny thing....when you read the article about Kane and Nestor. Nestor was a losing degenerate player. Lost 20k per year for 6 years prior. Was on welfare. Couldn't pay his bills and meet his financial obligations. That sounds eerily similar to someone else we know that had bancrupcies, and legal judgements against them. I get when you reach that level all sense of right and wrong goes out the window, but that doesn't mean that things stop being right or wrong. Receiving and accepting money in an amount much greater than the amount you won and played is wrong under any circumstances.
    Last edited by kewlJ; 05-15-2019 at 05:50 AM.

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by tableplay View Post
    KewlJ, IMHO, it wasn't illegal (and not cheating). The reason I think this way is because the player has the right to push buttons on a publicly accessible device in any sequence they choose. If the machine is physically altered by the player then I think it is illegal (and cheating).
    It's not about pushing buttons, IMO, it's about receiving and accepting payment in amounts much greater than the jackpot that you actually played and won. You don't think that is either illegal or cheating?

    And if it's not illegal why would there be any concern about statute of limitations?

    Funny thing....when you read the article about Kane and Nestor. Nestor was a losing degenerate player. Lost 20k per year for 6 years prior. Was on welfare. Couldn't pay his bills and meet his financial obligations. That sounds eerily similar to someone else we know that had bancrupcies, and legal judgements against them. I get when you reach that level all sense of right and wrong goes out the window, but that doesn't mean that things stop being right or wrong. Receiving and accepting money in an amount much greater than the amount you won and played is wrong under any circumstances.

    I'm anti-casino in every way imaginable. I think, unfortunately, that if payouts are incorrect, the precedents have been set in both the casino and other industries for the casinos to retrieve their money regardless of the motivation or knowledge level of the beneficiary. I don't know if there is a difference between a video poker overpay, for example, and a "jackpot by accident" that the casino retrieves. If, for example, they see the overpay on surveillance, but don't catch you on the premises at the time, they will probably pursue you for the money. I'm also not sure there is a difference between an ATM spitting out too much money or a check from the bank arriving with too much cash and a video poker machine overpaying. In each case, the beneficiary is going to be pursued for a return of the funds, regardless of motivation or knowledge. It doesn't matter if it's Bill Gates, who may not notice a particular 50K overpay. They are coming for their money.

  9. #9
    A few weeks down the road, on my blog, I'll address the standard take (which is also my take) for higher stakes sports bettors regarding "cheating." There are a number of issues sports books try to define as "cheating." Usually, they fail unless they get specific statutes written for them.

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by Rob.Singer View Post
    As asked for my input---

    Statute of Limitations for criminal acts:

    Federal: 5 years.
    Nevada: 4 years.
    Arizona: 7 years.
    DAMN SURE: 10 years.
    Rob I am less than impressed. I really am. I withdraw my congratulations that I offered. Although I believe I did say something along the lines that I am always happy when someone beats the casinos fairly and legally.

    When Axel and Mickey confirmed that Rob may have actually won the money claimed, I assumed we were talking legally. That Rob had discovered some mathematical thing unbeknownst to anyone else, since Rob is always touting his education and mathematical superiority. But it turns out he stole the money. Is that what they taught in those advanced mathematical courses?

    It's funny, I have been saying all along that Rob was using alternative math. Boy was I right. He would hit a jackpot at one denomination and think he should be paid at many times that amount. THAT is alternative math alright!

    But seriously now that the statute of limitations has run out Rob proudly....proudly wants to brag about and celebrate his "achievement". And he is begging to go on GWAE to do so to an even larger audience. I don't know if that will occur (I have my doubts) but I really hope it does. I know at least one of the Hosts will share my view and tell Rob that his great achievement is stealing. We'll see what happens.

    I guess I shouldn't be as surprised as this is coming from a guy who believes filing for bankruptcy and failing to meet financial obligations is a good thing, that bankruptcy is.... how did he put it... "a financial tool that allows you to grow wealth".

    All I can say is Rob Singer or Argentino or whatever your name is.....your parents really failed you.

  11. #11
    While this type of profit being suggested is probably not illegal, it still would be subject to the casino taking action for return of the amounts that were "overpaid". As to the issue of Bankruptcy, it is a useful and valuable financial tool. We use it not just to avoid debt but to avoid lengthy and costly litigation on legitimate questions of fact. Also, I have to say, it provides great pleasure when some hot shot attorney thinks he has you by the balls and you let the opponent run up high legal fees preparing for trial and then on the date of the trial you hand him the Bankruptcy filing papers which stay his proceedings.

    So yes--Bankruptcy is a great tool.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by regnis View Post
    While this type of profit being suggested is probably not illegal, it still would be subject to the casino taking action for return of the amounts that were "overpaid". As to the issue of Bankruptcy, it is a useful and valuable financial tool. We use it not just to avoid debt but to avoid lengthy and costly litigation on legitimate questions of fact. Also, I have to say, it provides great pleasure when some hot shot attorney thinks he has you by the balls and you let the opponent run up high legal fees preparing for trial and then on the date of the trial you hand him the Bankruptcy filing papers which stay his proceedings.

    So yes--Bankruptcy is a great tool.
    With all due respect Mr. Attorney, this isn't about bankruptcy. I don't want to side track into a discussion about bankruptcy. This is about receiving money that you are not entitled to and doesn't belong to you and doing so knowingly. And doing so repeatedly for years!

  13. #13
    No one else wants to weigh in on this? Slingshot, you seem a reasonable man to me. Do you think this is a fair way to "win" money from the casino? I wish Alan were here. I'd like to hear his take. Hey where is our casino industry lover/ supporter Bob21? I wonder what he thinks about this?

    Axelwolf and Mickeycrimm, you two are not going to weigh in? There is actually a reason that Axelwolf was Robs first choice to reveal this to. Singer thinks Axel is probably just as unsavory, with an "anything goes" attitude. Axel, was Rob right?

    People might think I am being too damn judgmental here, but here's the thing. Legitimate AP's can only win if we are able to get a fair game. If the casino industry is going to cheat, rigged shuffle machines, short decks, rigged slot and video poker machines we can't win. And we won't tolerate cheating from the casino industry. Are we then to say but it is acceptable from the players?

    If the attitude is anything goes because it is a casino, then the whole system breaks down. (I know people like Monet will say it already has).

  14. #14
    Kewl--do you have more info about Singer's "play" than has otherwise been disclosed here? If so, you may get more response if we are all on the same page. I have no idea still what he may have done.

    P.S.--you brought up the BK issue.

    I would add that I have no problem with any means of taking $$$ from a casino.

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by regnis View Post
    Kewl--do you have more info about Singer's "play" than has otherwise been disclosed here? If so, you may get more response if we are all on the same page. I have no idea still what he may have done.

    P.S.--you brought up the BK issue.

    I would add that I have no problem with any means of taking $$$ from a casino.
    I have taken it as far as I am going to Regnis, further than I intended. Perhaps Rob who seems so proud of his actions would like to share more details. If not there are things and names referenced in this thread that you can google for a better understanding.

    I am sorry to hear that you have no limitations on "taking" from a casino (because it's a casino). The armed Robberies that occur at Casino Cages from time to time, you have no problem with? To me, this is actually in the same ballpark. Taking and accepting money that does not belong to you. But to each his own.

  16. #16
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Advantage play, cheating, crime....where do you draw the line? Obviously the definition of advantage play is pretty simple. Playing with an advantage. By this definition even the most illegal things like capping bets, marking cards would be an advantage play. But I don't think any reasonable person or AP would consider it so. So where is the line?

    Obviously except in the mind of the casino industry, things like card counting or vulturing machines, isn't cheating or illegal. And just as obvious things like marking cards and light wands are cheating and illegal. But what about the grey area in between. With table games things like hole-carding? Not illegal but is it cheating?

    On the machine side, like I said, I don't think anyone outside the casino industry would consider vulturing cheating or illegal. And it is pretty clear that using a device like a lightwand or other electronic device to jam or alter the electronics is both cheating and illegal. But again what about the grey area in between?

    What if a player discovers a glitch that allows for a higher payout or a payout of jackpot hands at a higher denomination than was actually played and won? Is this a legitimate advantage play? Is it cheating? Is it illegal? I mean, I guess technically the player hasn't done anything illegal. Maybe some legalese thing like knowingly accepting payment you weren't entitled to. I don't know.

    One final question. Suppose someone is charged but the government can't make the case and ends up dropping the charges such as the Game King double up case. Was the act still illegal?

    I am anxious to hear the views of all my fellow AP's especially you Rob Singer?
    As laypeople, we're basically limited to our individual understandings of the law as we read it. If we ask an attorney(s), then we have their understanding of the law in question to go on. It's all, "Best guess," when you're dealing with, "Gray area," unless you have case precedent and some areas may be darker gray than others when it comes to potential legality questions. In any event, what is or is not legal/illegal will often come down to whatever the judge decides his interpretation of the law is if you come up on charges, and even then, there's still the potential for it to be overturned on appeal. So, the law is what the law says, but then interpretations come into play at all levels.

    As far as the definition of, "Advantage Play," it's again going to be an interpretation of how you define, "Advantage Play." If it is to be defined as playing with an EV/ER of over 100%, then capping bets and marking cards is certainly that. It's cheating, it's illegal AND it's an advantage play. If you're going to toss in verbiage such as, "By any legal means," to define 'Advantage Play,' then capping and marking are no longer an advantage play.

    I fail to see how hole-carding should be construed as cheating because the casino only has something like 10,000 mechanisms that they can use to prevent hole-carding from even being a possibility. If they choose not to use them or train on correct dealing procedures, that's their lookout. If I'm dealing a home poker game and you catch one of my cards that I deal to myself, did you cheat? Every poker player at any level knows or should know he has a responsibility to, "Protect his hand." Violation of etiquette...maybe...cheating, no.

    On machines, I would say that the gray area generally doesn't involve the machine directly. Maybe what those Russian guys did, I guess, but I can't think of many situations where any gray area involves the machine directly. Maybe, "Creating," is a gray area...I don't like it and would never do it so I don't have to worry about it. Good enough for me.

    To the next question, they couldn't make any charges stick on Nestor and Kane because they didn't do anything to alter the machine itself. They played the machine as it was presented to them, so that would be my answer on that.

  17. #17
    Originally Posted by Mission146 View Post
    To the next question, they couldn't make any charges stick on Nestor and Kane because they didn't do anything to alter the machine itself. They played the machine as it was presented to them, so that would be my answer on that.
    Thank you for weighing in Mission. Always good to here from you.

    I think prosecutors probably didn't do a very good job in the Kane/Nestor case, being a new type of case. I'll bet they would have liked a second crack at it.

    So it is my understanding that if the ATM spits out some extra money and you knowingly accept it, that is a crime. Or if money is mistakenly deposited into your account and you knowingly withdraw and keep it. You are taking or accepting money that simply does not belong to you.

    Now in this case, we are not talking about an honest mistake. The player is doing something to "trigger" that mistake and then knowingly taking or accepting money that does not belong to him. Even if that something he is doing is not technically "illegal", he is doing something to trigger the action and then accepting money that does not belong to him. How is that not a crime?

    So Mission let me peek into your soul. If you were playing a machine hit a jackpot that paid say $100, cashed out and somehow the ticket printed $10,000, you would be ok with that? Now what if you had done something that triggered that mistake, not something illegal, but just a programing glitch. You would be comfortable doing this over and over and over for years? And you would expect no legal ramifications when it was discovered?
    Last edited by kewlJ; 05-15-2019 at 08:07 AM.

  18. #18
    Maybe it's me? Maybe my definition of Advantage play differs from everyone else. I always thought we were talking about legal and fairly gaining an advantage. No wonder outside of the AP community the term advantage play has a negative connotation to it.

    If accepting money that doesn't belong to you, more money than you played and won is an advantage play, maybe it is time for me to start using a different term for what I do, because I don't want to be in that club.

  19. #19
    When the original Card Counters realized they could put the odds in their favor, were they stealing? Although there's a difference between 'putting the odds in your favor' and 'can't lose'....it's only a matter of degree. Here's some other examples.

    A Canadian Statistician realized the numbering of one of the Ontario Lottery Scratch Off games gave an indication if it would be a winner. He could have plundered the Lottery, but he reported his findings to the Lottery Commission.

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_lottery/all/


    Then there was this other Canadian fellow Daniel Corriveau, who in 1994 won 600K playing electronic keno when he realized that the machine was seeded with the same random number every time it was powered off. It so happened Casino Montreal powered off that machine every night when they vacuumed. He picked 19 of 20 numbers three times in a row AND he was cleared of any wrongdoing AND collected his money.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casino_de_Montr%C3%A9al

    And let's not forget Ronald Dale Harris. Harris was able to figure out the random number generator of certain Keno games. Unfortunately for him he figured it out using the game's computer source code that he was privy to as a programmer for the Nevada Gaming Commission. He was sentenced to 7 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Dale_Harris

    So, three different examples. Three different outcomes. I'd say this VP Player is closest to Mr. Corriveau. He figured out a flaw in the game and took advantage of it. Unless he had insider information on it, I don't think that what he did was illegal. Maybe it could be considered a malfunction of the machine and the Casino could withhold payment. Then again, maybe it's the responsibility of the machine manufacturer to do design reviews and appropriate QA to prevent the release of a flawed gaming device.

    As to the morality of exploiting a software flaw in a gaming machine, I see it as all part of the game. Just like I don't speak up when a dealer overpays me or someone at my table. It's not my job to report their mistakes. It's my job to keep winning until they stop me. Somehow that doesn't seem like 'cheating'. And besides, what's moral about gambling in the first place? Reminds me of the last time I played blackjack at the IP. We played a $10 IP matchplay.. The dealer had never seen one. He let us play it until it lost....paying double for several hands. Who am I to correct him? He's the dealer. Dang. Does that make me immoral...or just questionable?

    A Video Poker machine isn't an ATM. It is a machine that plays a game. If a bug modifies the rules of that game then why isn't exploiting it is a fair strategy in playing the game? There is a difference between gaming machines and cash dispensing machines in a financial institution.

  20. #20
    I see kew is beside himself so he can only resort to his usual array of lies and twisted meanings.

    Are you still hung up on my "proud" 1996 bankruptcy? Did you get how regnis explained it was a financial tool? Can you cope with the fact that our 401k's were off limits back then before they changed the bk laws? Will you (and Bob21 I guess) ever understand the concept of it being a profitable venture when a family eliminates nearly $270k in debt while losing zero assets? The problem with people like you is you have no business savvy, and your pathetic generation feels they can bloviate with very little life knowledge or experience.

    As for your "not being impressed" bs, do you actually know or understand what the underlying goal of players who go to casinos is? I'll bet every one of them go in to win money. Now there's an original idea! And you are stupid enuf to be thinking players go to casinos to be able to impress YOU.....Now we see why how everyone who sees your internet act for what it really is, drives you up a wall.

    No....what you are REALLY infuriated with is how it isn't YOU again who had the brilliance to be the one to work hard, look for, and find a play that would give you a huge ADVANTAGE when you go into casinos. That is only reserved for the best of us.

    Oh, and your continuing fake news about my past? I lost $250k as an AP over 6 years 1990-1996. That wasn't even 1 year's salary for me in total. We were bringing up 2 children and had a home, and we were already set for retirement. Comparing me to Nestor is the ultimate in sour grapes.
    Last edited by Rob.Singer; 05-15-2019 at 08:28 AM.

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