Mar 18 2010

Casinos conned by IT hackers

Category: CybercrimeDISC @ 1:54 pm

Wheel of fortune. Shot wide open using 50mm/f1.
Image via Wikipedia
Casinos conned by IT hackers who printed false betting slips

Humans are the weakest and the strongest link to run computer operated machine. If these two people can create havoc, what do you think the mischief mind of a business owner can do? Think about it when you are back in casino and playing at computer operated poker or black jack machine. I’m sure there are regulations regarding this bamboozling behavior but the key is who is monitoring these casinos, whoever that might be should be totally independent.

“However, the scheme came unstuck after an alert cashier noticed a winning slip for £600 for a £10 bet at odds of 35-1.”

Andrew Ashley, 30, and Nimesh Bhagat, 31, stole more than £33,000 by infiltrating software controlling remote betting machines covering live roulette wheels at four Gala Casinos in London, a court heard.

The pair simply made the machines print out winning vouchers for sums of up to £600, whatever the outcome on the wheel.

But they were caught out when a cashier realised a payout was impossible as only £10 had been wagered at odds of 35-1, Croydon Crown Court was told.

Officials began an inquiry and quickly traced a string of suspicious wins back to the two contractors, who were employed as problem analysts.

Ashley, from south-east London, and Bhagat, from south-west London, were handed 12-month prison sentences, suspended for two years, after each admitting an offence under the Theft Act 1968.

The two men were ordered to undertake 200 hours of community service and pay back around £16,000 each, a police spokesman said.

The convictions are believed to be the first where people have been caught mishandling the computer technology behind Britain’s gaming industry.

They followed an inquiry by officers from Scotland Yard‘s clubs and vice unit into a series of transactions between July 2007 and September 2007.

The scam centred on remote betting terminals at casinos that enable customers to place bets without being at the roulette table.

Those who make winning bets are given a printed ticket with details of their credit that can then be cashed.

Detectives examined computers seized from the men’s homes and looked at CCTV footage that placed the men at the terminals when the offences occurred.

Detective Inspector Ann-Marie Waller said vigilant staff stopped the fraud before hundreds of thousands of pounds were lost.

She said: ”These men not only used their intimate knowledge of two complex systems to break the law and make these fraudulent claims, they also breached the trust of their employers and any semblance of professional integrity.”

Tags: fraud, Gala Coral Group, Gambling, London, Poker, Roulette, Scotland Yard, The Daily Telegraph