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

  1. #21
    Originally Posted by unowme View Post
    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.
    The last para. is of the utmost importance. You don't play an ATM to get money out of it, and you can only get out of your account to the limit of that which you have put into it or have authorized credit towards. Anything over those limits is stealing and the money must be returned.

    A vp machine in a casino is a completely different animal. You gamble to make it pay. If you're pushing buttons and inserting bills, you're simply playing the machine. It isn't your concern whether it was meant to be operated in that manner of not. That's why they have something called software code. However, I do not believe that utilizing a winner you've already been paid on, a second or third time....or using a winning hand that's been left on the machine in order to then claim it was YOU who hit that winner using your money, is moral or even legal.

  2. #22
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    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?
    Thank you, nice to see you too. I'll pop in again before the end of the day, but I've much work to do after this post.

    Maybe you could put it on the prosecutors, but I don't even think they got to the level of even bringing charges. It's not like they were charged and a jury acquitted them. I suppose the question of, "Legal or not," is not really answered if you think the prosecutors did an incompetent job. I would say the only absolutely, "Safe," legal gray area is one with case precedent and in the same jurisdiction...but then it's much less of a gray area, really.

    I agree on the ATM and the deposit provided it is not an accident on the part of the beneficiary.

    I agree that the player is doing something to trigger the mistake and disagree that the player is taking money that does not belong to him. The machine has announced that the player has hit a jackpot, then the casino comes along and pays that jackpot. Funny thing is that play could have lasted for damn near eternity if Kane hadn't gotten lazy with it. The money, and this is just my opinion, belongs to him because the casino is in possession of the money and the casino is willing handing the money over to him. This is a direct person-to-person financial transaction, not something like two hundreds being sticky in an ATM and overdispensing. Now, you have the general notion that, "Machine malfunction voids all pays and plays," but I don't know how well that really applies once you have handed over the money. Also, I would think anything along those lines would be a civil matter between player and casino at that point, so the casino theoretically has the option to sue to try to get its money back.

    I would not be okay with that because that event would have nothing to do with how the machine plays. The machine says I am to receive $100, I know I am to receive $100, then the machine prints out a ticket that I know to be erroneous. I could be wrong, but I have almost no doubt that accepting such funds would be illegal. I don't think I would be fine with that sort of programming glitch because what you are talking about doesn't sound like it has anything to do with the actual play of the machine...it's just printing wrong tickets. Like, if you had one where if you cash out at precisely $117.22 it prints a ticket for $1172.20...no way. I would say that there is no legal way of looking at it that entitles me to that extra money.

    ADDED: Also, presumably for this reason (or CTR/SAR reasons) many machines are set to, "Lock Up," at any total over a certain amount. I don't know that is true for all machines, but I have personally had it happen a few times. I think the amount in two cases at one casino was anything over $1,500...in another it was two grand.

  3. #23
    Originally Posted by Rob.Singer View Post
    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.
    The brilliance to work hard?

    Let me ask you something Einstein. If this is such a brilliant act, to be appreciated by all, why did you have to lay low for 10 years waiting for the statute of limitations to run out? Any time "statute of limitations" even enters into the equation, I am not impressed with the brilliance behind the act.

  4. #24
    Originally Posted by unowme View Post
    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.
    My memory of the story (I wrote a long piece about it sometime back) is that he had the event happen at either Fremont or Binion's quite by accident the first time. After that, he actually bought a Game King unit of his own (or maybe it was he already had one) and pieced together what actually caused that to happen. The rest, as they say, is history. So are those units...but if not...I'm sure anybody that's found an unmodified one isn't going to be stupid enough to tell anyone about it.

  5. #25
    Originally Posted by Rob.Singer View Post
    However, I do not believe that utilizing a winner you've already been paid on, a second or third time....or using a winning hand that's been left on the machine in order to then claim it was YOU who hit that winner using your money, is moral or even legal.
    But you believe hitting a jackpot while playing one denomination, but getting paid as though you played and hit at a much higher denomination is both moral and legal? Weird. Weird. Weird. I guess people can justify anything.

    "Statute of limitations", my friend. You held off on this until you knew statute of limitations had expired. If you had done nothing wrong that would be no concern. You can justify and convince yourself of anything you want, but that single action tells the real story.

  6. #26
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    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.
    There are people who think, "Card counting," has a negative connotation to it. If I had to shoot in the dark at a number, I bet something like 1 in 5 non-casino-goers think it's illegal.

    Again, I don't know that Merriam-Webster has yet gone out of its way to define, "Advantage Play," so it's just something that kind of means what it means to whoever says or hears it. I think it can definitely imply by legal means depending on who you're talking to and the context of the conversation. If two cappers are having a discussion and use, "Advantage Play," then I would say that by legal means is not implied.

  7. #27
    Ron, about bankruptcy. I’ve had friends who have gone bankrupt. One of my best friends went bankrupt 10 years ago since he was heavily leveraged in real estate. He was living in a $1.6 million dollar house at the time. He ended up coming out of it somewhat okay, since he was able to put some of his assets into his wife’s name, but there is still no way he was better off after the bankruptcy than before it.

    I know companies can go bankrupt and sometimes be better off after the bankruptcy but the investors for sure take a hit.

    I get there are many ways to go throu bankruptcy and sometimes you can come out of it in decent shape, but for the most part declaring bankruptcy is an avenue of last resort.

    Whenever I hear someone paint too rosy of a picture on going through bankruptcy my BS radar goes up. I don’t know your situation so I probably shouldn’t have commented on it. Overall, I’ve liked your posts.

  8. #28
    Originally Posted by Mission146 View Post
    The machine says I am to receive $100, I know I am to receive $100, then the machine prints out a ticket that I know to be erroneous. I could be wrong, but I have almost no doubt that accepting such funds would be illegal.
    Ok the $100 ticket/$10,000 wasn't the greatest example. The machine has a paytable. You hit a jackpot say at $1 that pays say 125 credits. That is 125 credits of the denomination that you were playing when you hit ($125). And you know that. If you somehow manipulate the machine to pay you 125 credits of a much higher denomination, say $10 denomination paying $1250, that you were not playing, are you really trying to say that's "ok"?

    I mean obviously Rob thinks so. Or does he? If he did, then why wait until statute of limitations has expired?

  9. #29
    The very funny part of all this is that if a known forum AP who has never criticized him for anything had said they had worked hard for, discovered, and played a play like this, kew wouldn't have enough praises in his basket to lay upon the guy. He'd be doing the jig non-stop for hours over it.

  10. #30
    Originally Posted by Rob.Singer View Post
    The very funny part of all this is that if a known forum AP who has never criticized him for anything had said they had worked hard for, discovered, and played a play like this, kew wouldn't have enough praises in his basket to lay upon the guy. He'd be doing the jig non-stop for hours over it.
    While I know you would like to make this about me and you and in truth I don't like you as you said horrible untrue things about my partner/spouse after he had passed away, but this isn't about me or you.

    This is just not my definition of advantage play. I am a guy who stopped hole-carding which I was successfully doing for a few months because I just don't like winning that way. And that's not illegal, although a grey area in my mind as to cheating. I am a guy who got up from a blackjack table and walked when I realized the new, raw dealer was paying everyone on every hand as if he broke. (If he drew a 20 and you had an 18 he paid as a win).

    I just have lines of what is right and wrong and how I want to win. I guess you don't. Maybe most AP's don't, I don't know.

    I go back to the same question Rob: If you really feel there is nothing wrong with this, why did you specifically wait 10 years until you are sure the statute of limitations has run out? Please, come on, you can come up with some kind of bullshit answer can't you? Not that it will matter.....the action says it all.

    For God sakes, if the statute of limitations is a consideration, it is not a legitimate AP play. That is my new rule.
    Last edited by kewlJ; 05-15-2019 at 09:04 AM.

  11. #31
    ok I am off to work, but I will be checking in during the day because I find this discussion intriguing. But one things I know is that as I go about making my living today from the casinos, with nothing I do will the statute of limitations be a consideration.

    And a quick comment to the Reno nut job. You can say it all you want, but I don't live with my mother. Not that I was opposed to living with her when she moved to Vegas. My brother was opposed to the idea, so she got her own place. So you can keep saying it, but it doesn't make it true. And I have no idea who's email address you have and who you are sending emails to but it is neither me nor my mother. You must be sending dirty emails to some stranger. What a retard you are.

  12. #32
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by Rob.Singer View Post
    However, I do not believe that utilizing a winner you've already been paid on, a second or third time....or using a winning hand that's been left on the machine in order to then claim it was YOU who hit that winner using your money, is moral or even legal.
    But you believe hitting a jackpot while playing one denomination, but getting paid as though you played and hit at a much higher denomination is both moral and legal? Weird. Weird. Weird. I guess people can justify anything.

    "Statute of limitations", my friend. You held off on this until you knew statute of limitations had expired. If you had done nothing wrong that would be no concern. You can justify and convince yourself of anything you want, but that single action tells the real story.
    Except of course Nevada Gaming Authorities, Casinos, Law Enforcement and Politicians have a long and sordid history of working together to persecute gamblers who they think are taking advantage of them. You know that. So let's just say you honestly believe some new Blackjack Exploit you come up with is perfectly legal. Maybe you find that the auto shuffle machines are flawed. And you take advantage of that flaw to the tune of several million dollars. Whenever the Casinos realize what's going on, you can expect a few things.

    1. They will try to claw back their money.
    2. They will claim what you were doing was illegal even though it may not be illegal.
    3. They will try to get you prosecuted.
    4. They will try to break you with legal fees.
    5. They will try to set an example for others.

    This is exactly why even though you really believe you did nothing wrong, you might take the precaution of waiting out any potential legal action they may take.

  13. #33
    In my mind if a ploppie could do it by accident then generally it would be legal. So card counting you bet higher with a favorable count. A ploppie could bet higher when the count is favorable by coincidence.

    Machine APs only play machines when they are in a advantageous state and then quit when they are no longer in that state. When a machine is advantageous someone is going to play it regardless. The difference is An AP will play it and leave whereas a ploppie will play it and keep playing putting their money back in when the advantage is gone.

  14. #34
    This has not been addressed very much, so let me go there.

    The person whose credibility took the hardest hit if this reveal is true...is Alan Mendelson.

    Maybe that's why he self-banned. He knew this was coming. Pretty embarrassing. I mean, think about it. Mr. Mendelson used to give people grief for double-dipping free rooms on simultaneous offers. This is way, way beyond anything in his comfort zone. His publicizing what turned out to be obviously completely wrong numbers and the provenance of "Singer's" income does serious, permanent damage to Mendelson's reputation. He stood by "Singer" for years as a wingman. If you presented this story to Mr. Mendelson without a name attached, I'm sure Mr. Mendelson would have been publicly appalled.

  15. #35
    "Everything I know how to do is AP. Everything I don't is cheating."

  16. #36
    Simply said, careful people keep their mouths shut at their most vulnerable times, they research what the ramifications that may hurt them are, then they wait even longer to release said information in case anything at all was missed. And if someone is not entirely sure if what they have done would be considered illegal or not, they shut up and wait.

    Kew would most certainly be the type of person who would need to blab and blab and blab about something like this, so that is the only vantage point from which he can see it.

  17. #37
    Now we'll get real.

    If there were a poll on whether or not anyone here or on any gambling forum would play the double up flaw if they came across it, here's what the results would look like:

    --85% would play it foolishly greedy like Nestor and Kane, unable to stop until they got stopped.
    --13% would play it and selectively talk about it, making it last only for a year at the most.
    --Less than 1% would keep the play to themselves, hitting a single jackpot, then leaving that casino immediately for another casino, and only returning to these casinos in a month or more.
    --Slightly over 1% would be trying to milk this "terrible, awful" scenario for sympathy, empathy, and credibility amongst nuns, monks, and the weakest, wimpiest people on earth.

    It helps to get real.

  18. #38
    Originally Posted by Rob.Singer View Post
    Simply said, careful people keep their mouths shut at their most vulnerable times, they research what the ramifications that may hurt them are, then they wait even longer to release said information in case anything at all was missed. And if someone is not entirely sure if what they have done would be considered illegal or not, they shut up and wait.

    Kew would most certainly be the type of person who would need to blab and blab and blab about something like this, so that is the only vantage point from which he can see it.
    And then, finally, there are those people who never say a word ever, to anyone, never letting vanity get in the way of total, lifelong silence.

  19. #39
    Originally Posted by tableplay View Post
    Originally Posted by Rob.Singer View Post
    Simply said, careful people keep their mouths shut at their most vulnerable times, they research what the ramifications that may hurt them are, then they wait even longer to release said information in case anything at all was missed. And if someone is not entirely sure if what they have done would be considered illegal or not, they shut up and wait.

    Kew would most certainly be the type of person who would need to blab and blab and blab about something like this, so that is the only vantage point from which he can see it.
    And then, finally, there are those people who never say a word ever, to anyone, never letting vanity get in the way of total, lifelong silence.
    If you had done the research, you'd know that lifelong silence on something personally significant is not healthy for any human being.

  20. #40
    Originally Posted by Rob.Singer View Post

    If you had done the research, you'd know that lifelong silence on something personally significant is not healthy for any human being.
    But looking over your shoulder for 10 years, waiting for statute of limitations to expire IS a healthy way to live? 😆

    No wonder you live in a trailer / RV constantly on the run, moving from trailer park to someone driveway to trailer park. Always looking over your shoulder. THAT is one he'll of a way to live Singer.

    Lunch break is over back to work. I'll tell you this much. I haven't made much money so far today, but I haven't done ANYTHING inside or outside the casino that will have me looking over my shoulder for the next 10 years waiting for statute of limitations to expire.

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