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Crooks in the online casino industry. But who are the crooks?


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Crooks in the online casino industry. But who are the crooks?


January 14th, 2014

Respected online casino software auditor Eliot Jocobson, who won a lot of brownie points from me and many others in his pursuit of the BetFred rigged games matter, recently discovered cheating in an online casino software product he was asked to audit for fairness. You can read the full report in his blog article Crooks in the Online Casino Industry.

Having identified a problem, he spoke on the phone with the software programmer. Here are some notes he took over the course of the remarkable conversation:


Make the dealer bust less often.
Craps, blackjack, jacks or better.
All games have the main fix.
Every game has a cheating function.
You can't win 85% any time anywhere if the casino is not winning for the month.
The 85% fix is in everywhere.


When contacted, the casino owner had this to say:


Yes in craps there is code in there, and it was put in there a long time ago at the request of a customer.


He subsequently appeared to have a change of heart:


We totally reviewed the craps programme. Data from other customers passed. Running the data through the program which you gave to...the data passed. I would request that you take a second look.


Jacobson concluded that they wanted him to test genuine data, extracted from play where the fix was not in place, in order to get a clean bill of health. Jacobson was not prepared to do this, for obvious reasons.

The matter ended thus:


I spoke with the programmer and owner several more times by phone. The programmer told me that he had asked the owner to stop lying to me. The programmer told me that the owner indicated that the lies would continue in order to protect the company in question.

I spoke with the owner of the software company again on April 13, 2012. The owner indicated that the software company still wanted CFG certification. The owner said that they had paid 50% in advance for it and expected to be certified. I told them no. No certification. No money back.


On a relevant sidenote: it turns out the online industry has lost one of the good guys, as Jacobson has now retired from this role:


I stand by the CFG seal and the casinos and software companies it represents. I'm also relieved to be done with the industry as a game fairness auditor.



The one glaringly telling omission in the report is that we're none the wiser as to the identity of the cheats. It isn't one of the bigger companies, that much is apparent from comments such as this:


As far as the number of casinos that run this software, I did a quick Google search and found 14 casinos. I am not sure of the exact number of casinos that currently use this software.


We also know it's neither of the two big providers, Microgaming and Playtech, as they have certifications from auditors he recommends. Other providers who use his recommended auditors can also be excluded. But we still don't know the identity of the cheating software.

Software cheating has happened before. As such, to be told that there's another gaffed product out there may be interesting, but it's ultimately unhelpful if we don't know the who the perpetrator is. If anything, it spreads mistrust, as we can now say about any casino using software that carries none of Jacobson's recommended audit seals "Was this the software that...?"

That said, if nothing else this does encourage healthy scepticism amongst players, and it'll certainly be a sad day when the online gambling industry is the recipient of blind, unquestioning trust from its paying customers.

It certainly hasn't earned it.


Related material:

Beating Bonuses: Cheating Software

Casinomeister: Crooks in the Online Casino Industry

Wizard Of Vegas: Article on cheating online software



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