Shocking Gambling Scandals That Stunned the World

Gambling is an activity where the player tries to outsmart a system. That’s true about playing slot machines or at poker tables. There’s always a winner and a loser in these games. Many times, the stakes are very high.

Since the potential reward is so appealing, many people will go to great lengths to ensure they win. In the past, many individuals have been able to outsmart the system and beat the casinos at their own game. There have also been situations where these casinos made it even harder for their clients to get the win.

Sports betting also has very intense pages in the world of gambling scandals. Referees have worked together with casinos to fix games in major sports leagues. Those incidents deserve a list of their own. These are just a few of the most shocking gambling scandals involving casino games that have made headlines worldwide.

Amigotech’s Faulty Video Poker Games

The most controversial gambling scandals that grab headlines involve players beating the casino. This video poker game developed by Amigotech did the exact opposite. Back in 2011, a player recorded 922 games without ever drawing a winning hand with this game.

In 2015, the same company was involved in another investigation where a player claimed to have played more than 500 hands and never achieved better than two pairs in a draw. The company is still developing gaming software to this day. It claimed a bug had entered the system and caused the malfunction in both cases.

With these things happening at in-person casinos, it may be a good idea to try a crypto casino like At least in crypto casinos, players can know that the system operates under a smart contract.

Monkey’s Paw Triggering Jackpots

The name Tommy Glenn Carmichael is forever embedded in gambling lore thanks to his invention, the monkey’s paw. It seems like the simplest scheme to rig a casino game that anyone can devise. Glenn Carmicheal would literally insert a wire into the machine’s payout chute, which would trigger the machine to release a jackpot.

What’s even more incredible about this scheme is that the man ran it for almost two decades before getting caught. After the machines were no longer vulnerable to the monkey’s paw, Glenn Carmichael turned to the “light wand.”

This new device used a small camera and a light bulb to rig slot machines. It’s estimated that this man robbed casinos of thousands of dollars daily. The FBI ultimately caught him in 2001. He served less than a year in prison and is now banned from all casinos for life!

Virtual Casino Group Scam Early 2000s

Online casinos were just getting started in the early 2000s. Many people had their doubts about betting money online. The prevalent thought was that it would be even easier for people to get scammed online than at in-person casinos.

One unfortunate Virtual Casino Group platform user found that to be true. The platform was running a promotion at the time that gave new users a 100-dollar sign-up bonus. This person used the bonus to rack up 429 dollars in their account total.

When they went to play another game, though, they realized their balance was down back to 100 dollars. The casino had actually ordered the payout of the 329 dollars in winnings. Ultimately, the user got nothing from the online casino!

Casinos are sensitive when they see users playing with house money. Online casinos have indeed gotten safer since the early 2000s. Still, exploring crypto casino games for added safety could be a good idea.

The Scandal That Turned into a Movie

From the 1970s to the 1990s, students from universities like MIT and Harvard started running a card counting operation at blackjack tables within many different casinos. Bill Kaplan was the leader of the group, and he claims to have trained over 100 students.

Kaplan also claims to have won around 10 million dollars for himself throughout his run. The team mostly disbanded in the early 90s, but some members still hit up casinos in the early 2000s. This story is unique because the scheme was deemed frowned upon but legal by the authorities.

The story inspired a movie that was later produced called 21 Blackjack. This movie tells the story of how students from these prominent schools were recruited and then detailed their escapades in Atlantic City.

Rigging Gaming Software to Help Friends

Ron Harris, a Nevada Gaming Control Board member, designed software to prevent cheating at slot machines. He decided to go rogue and rig at least 30 machines and then sent out a group of friends to take advantage of the situation.

The group was able to walk away with what was reported at the time as hundreds of thousands of dollars. This first success got Harris and others hooked on finding ways to rig machines. That would lead to their downfall only a few years later.

One of Harris’ accomplices was arrested trying to rig a keno machine in Atlantic City. This person proceeded to rat out Harris, who was later detained by police. In 1996, he pleaded guilty to four different cheating counts and spent seven years in jail.

Final Thoughts

Players have been able to outsmart casinos on many occasions. Most of these incidents make headlines because, sooner or later, the perpetrators get caught. Especially those people who get greedy and want to take as much money as possible.

The instances where casinos are caught cheating may be even more concerning. It’s one of those situations where people find out because the affair is so obvious. The Amigotech case reveals a very concerning situation.

Players realized that the machines were rigged only because there was someone with enough cash to be able to play 500 hands and lose. It’s likely that these players already had a hunch that something was fishy, and they did the research to sue the company.

Most regular Joes sitting at those same machines may have just thought they were having an off night. What’s undeniable is that safer gambling options are a good idea for both the house and the players.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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