It’s been said that there’s no way to gain an advantage while playing the slots. For the majority of us – honest, hard working people who dream of one day hitting the jackpot – that’s true. For conniving criminals with a bit too much time and technology on their hands, apparently it’s not.
40 year old Czech national Radoslav Skubnik found a way to cheat the slot machines at two Singapore Casinos. A member of a Russian syndicate, Skubnik was sentenced to 22 months behind bars after admitting to cheating the casinos by gaining an advantage over the slot machines at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Santosa.
Skubnik was charged with three counts of violating the Casino Control Act. Cases against his alleged accomplices, Vladislav Logachev (40) and Andrei Egorov (33), both of Russia, are still pending.
How’d he Cheat The Slot Machines?
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jordon Li painted a detailed picture of how Skubnik and his accomplices used duplicitous means to win hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Singapore casinos. Li said it began in 2012 when Skubnik joined a Russian syndicate hosting illegal operations in casinos throughout Europe, Macau and the United States.
Skubnik was trained as a ‘Player’ in a team, where every team included one ‘Master’ and a series of players. The players were taught to use special devices that recorded the gameplay and patterns of specific slot machines. They would then send that data to the Master for decoding.
Once decoded, the player was sent back to the casino to play the same machines; this time with the added advantage of knowing when the slot is destined to deliver its next big payout. Li explained that Players would retain 10% of their winnings. Masters received 5% from each of their players. The other 85% went back to the syndicate.
DPP Li told the court that Egorov, Logachev and Skubnik arrived in Singapore on May 5, 2016. Logachev sent Skubnik decoded data pertaining to slot machines at Resorts World Santosa. At approximately 7pm, Skubnik entered the casino and used that data to win $6,402 from 5 separate slot machines.
On May 6 and 7, he continued his duplicitous deeds at RWS, using decoded data to win $13,352 from two more compromised machines. Afterwards, on the evening of May 7, he traveled to Mandalay Bay Sands, where he lost $738 when his information failed to accurately project the payout of slot machines.
Are Slot Machines Predictable?
Today’s slot machines are equipped with a Random Number Generator (RNG) that issues the results of each slots spin in real time, as it’s happening. These are said to be unpredictable, as their programmed payout percentage only has to even out over the long haul. For example, a machine set to pay 90% (i.e. pay out $90 for every $100 taken in) is going to take time to hit that mark, with the actual payouts being higher or lower in the meantime.
According to the sophisticated technology used at the Singapore casinos, it would seem that some slot machines do, in fact, operate on a predictable pattern. However, that pattern can only be obtained by using illegal technology, such as that used by the Russian syndicate.
So for us regular folks, we’ll continue to play the machines for entertainment purposes, while hoping to receive a big payout the traditional, legal way.