Roulette has been played in casinos for centuries. Over the years, a cat and mouse style game has emerged between operators and would-be cheats, as new ideas, scams, and schemes have been dreamed up to defraud casinos of their money. More recently, this race has only intensified, thanks to advancing technologies that make life significantly easier for those intent on scamming the house.
In days gone by, roulette scams would have to consistently become more sophisticated, in order to evade the detection of the management and avoid arrest and certain prosecution. But now, with every cheat carrying a smartphone – basically, a computer in their pocket – and plenty of flexibility to introduce digital cheating aids, prevention has never been more difficult.
The casinos in Vegas are at the cutting edge of loss prevention, and often the site of some of the more audacious attempts at cheating. But what technologies are out there for scammers trying to cheat at roulette, and can casino operators simply issue a blanket ban to solve the problem? While we have suggested a few methods here, you can also have a look at this roulette guide to know more.
Roulette Cheating Technology
There are as many ways to cheat with technology as there are ideas – it’s all about the execution. One story that set a dangerous precedent for the casinos was a recent case in London. Two Serbian gamblers, accompanied by a Hungarian woman, had smuggled laser scanning technology into the casino. At the roulette table, they used the tech to analyze the orbital decay of the ball in motion – that is, the rate at which the ball had slowed down over its first two revolutions of the wheel.
This strategy, known as sector targeting, allowed the team to predict a segment of the wheel that was most likely to produce the winning result. While not 100% accurate, this strategy only served to confused casino management more – they were still losing occasionally, but also winning big, in some part covering their tracks.
Obviously, the inevitable happened, and the group was rumbled. But interestingly, they were unable to be charged with any offense. There was nothing illegal about their actions, and whilst their intent was to take money at the expense of the casino, no crime had been committed.
While this might be seen as a lucky escape for the scammers, it’s one more threat for the casinos to deal with.
What Can Casinos Do About It?
It’s safe to say that those gamblers won’t ever be allowed near a casino in Vegas again. For the avoidance of doubt, the casinos themselves have now officially banned this, and similar technologies including Hawkeye, from use anywhere in their casinos. The reality is, even if you start looking a little shifty with a smartphone, you might end up attracting some unwanted attention. The casinos do try to limit their losses by banning these technologies – but for those with physical resorts to manage, the threat will always remain.
How Online Casinos Are Naturally Immune
Online casinos find themselves in a privileged position when it comes to dealing with this type of threat. Their greatest strength lies in the lack of any physical gaming table. When you’re playing online roulette games, you’re usually going to be playing a virtual roulette table. That means that any attempts at sector targeting or similar tech-based cheating options can’t work – there’s no way to cheat the software.
Roulette software works on a random number generator, so each outcome is genuinely a random number. There’s no spinning ball to analyze. This means that online casinos will always have the edge over offline casinos when it comes to preventing roulette cheats from having it their way.
Because casinos tend to exude big money, they also tend to attract those who would dip the pot given half a chance. While casinos both online and offline need to do their level best to prevent cheating, scams, and fraud from impacting on their bottom line, the reality remains that it’s a much easier task for online operators.