back to article Vegas vid-poker hackjackpot bonanza duo face charges

A duo who used a software bug in video poker machines to milk thousands in unearned jackpots have been charged with computer hacking and conspiracy offences. John Kane, 52, of Las Vegas, allegedly learned that a glitch in the software that meant it was possible to change the stake and multiplier of payouts after first …

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  1. Jamie Kitson

    The House Always Wins

    Sounds like an odd bug to be coincidental.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good luck to him

    I like his arguments but I don't fancy his chances of getting off.

  3. Antidisestablishmentarianist

    Damn right...

    ...they should get off. The casino(s) should sue the machine maker to recover the moneys, plus some more for being so damn stupid.

  4. HoverDonkey
    WTF?

    I'm on the side of the defendant!

    All he did was take advantage of shoddy programming on machines put in place by the casinos.

    Maybe, some time in the not-too-distant future, a casino customer can lose thousands, but then sue the casino for taking advantage of the fact he was drunk, and a bit thick even when sober, in order to fleece him of his earnings!

  5. Graham Marsden
    Black Helicopters

    But.... but...

    Don't you know, punters aren't supposed to make a *profit* in casinos?

  6. Cameron Colley

    You will not be intelligent!

    ATTENTION CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

    YOU WILL NOT USE YOUR INTELLECT TO PLAY CORPORATIONS AT THEIR OWN GAME!

    Pretty much par for the course in the United Communist* States of Oligarcs**.

    *Always for the good of the government, **or their paymasters.

  7. Dick Emery
    FAIL

    Unfair advantage my foot

    I don't get why the casinos should win on this. The whole point of gambling is not just about chance but finding a way to beat the odds. Just because they found a methodology to do that that was basically a glitch in the system should not mean they face jail for it. If anything they should perhaps (at most) be ordered to give the money back and that's that (and have the glitch fixed).

    All is fair in love and war IMHO.

  8. Ian 3
    Thumb Down

    So...

    Does this mean anyone using the 'holds after nudges' exploit, that worked on nearly every fruit machine in the 90's is a l33t criminal hacker?

  9. TeeCee Gold badge
    Happy

    Re: So...

    My favourite glitch was a machine in my local that both paid 20p for a 10p play on three oranges and also offered holds on the winning line indefinately!

    You could sit there playing no-lose double your money for small stakes as long as you could be arsed to keep it fed (usually just long enough to earn an evening's worth of beer vouchers).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Yeah, but so what?

    I've seen documentaries of convicts in Nevada gaols who were serving 10+ year sentences for card counting. Think it can attract a life sentence - of hand sorting decks of cards discarded by casinos back into sequential order with staring over the prison walls onto sun baked/snow covered desert for variety. So comparing gaming a slot machine to card counting probably wasn't the best defence...

  11. DRendar
    Go

    Not Illegal

    Except that card counting - in your head - is NOT illegal.

    Those in prison must have been using some technological means to assist in the counting.

    No way the guys should be found guilty.

  12. Smokey Joe

    no title

    "It's not my fault that their programming allowed a player to win at will,"

    Yup.

    The casinos need to be tapping on the shoulder of the manufacturer here.

  13. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    odd

    Unless industrial espionage or sabotage can be demonstrated, I'm not sure what grounds the casino has for charging him. Card counters at the blackjack tables have been barred from the casinos, but nobody have every charged them with a crime.

  14. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    If only ...

    ... he'd made his savings through using a tax loophole.

  15. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    It's tough these days..

    Little player: He finagles a little win, pays off state with taxes, then still gets a raw deal.

    Big player: He finagles a big win, which, if it goes wrong, is reimbursed by state with taxes, then still gets an invitation to a Presidential Dinner.

  16. ratfox Silver badge
    Go

    Fair enough

    They kick him out, and forbid him from coming back, but he gets to keep the money. I have no idea how they intend to claim that what he did was illegal...

    Wait, hang on. This might be construed as a way to circumvent a security feature, forbidden by the DMCA?

  17. Lord Ted

    One rule for one...

    So the casinos are happy for the punters to press the buttons in an order acceptable to them, so that the odds are in their favour, and the punter will loose, but they are not happy for the punter to press the buttons in an order of their choice and win. Makes you wonder what the point of playing is?

    The casinos should accept the loss gracefully.

  18. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Crap defense

    So his defense is that he knew the codes and it isn't stealing?

    Try that one with an ATM and see if your defense still stands Jackpotass

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Philosophically I'm with the defendant.

    But if I were his lawyer I'd probably still recommend he cut a deal with the state on the basis that he'll be safer if he serves a few in the pen than if he wins in court. I don't care what the ads say the casinos are still connected to some high ranking low life types.

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