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Study: UNLV professor calls it a ‘myth’ that players can detect an edge on slot machines

August 4th, 2019 · Blackjack News

Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

A series of studies led by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas said regular slot players can’t tell the difference between the house edge from one game to another.

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Feds say Mohegan Sun guest stole $800K in online bank scheme

March 16th, 2019 · Blackjack News

By John Barry

Posted Jan 31, 2019

MOHEGAN – A frequent guest at the Mohegan Sun Hotel is accused of stealing at least $800,000 from more than 400 victims, according to federal authorities.

Kishore Ammisetti, 30, a citizen of India living in Connecticut, was charged Jan. 25 with bank fraud and wire fraud after an investigation beginning in February 2018 by Homeland Security Investigations, which is part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

An affidavit by HSI Special Agent Geoffrey Goodwin outlined Ammisetti’s scheme:

Ammisetti targeted mostly people of Indian descent selling items or offering rooms for rent on Facebook Marketplace or other online media. Using at least 16 different email addresses as well as different names and phone numbers, Ammisetti would contact them and say he was interested in whatever they were advertising.

He would then offer to make a deposit to the seller’s bank account – which would give him the seller’s account information. Then, he would contact the seller’s bank and claim to have made an ATM deposit that hadn’t registered on the seller’s account.

The bank would provisionally credit the account of the seller for 72 hours while it investigated. While that extra money was in the seller’s bank account, Ammisetti then would contact the seller and claim that was actually because Ammisetti had mistakenly put the money there, and he’d ask the seller to refund it to his bank account.

The seller mostly would agree, only to find a few days later that the bank had removed the provisional credit, and there was no way to get back the money transferred to Ammisetti.

Ammisetti conducted his scheme between July 2017 and August 2018, while he was checked in at the Mohegan Sun Hotel, according to the affidavit. For example, according to the affidavit, using one email address and the name “Alekhya Sudula,” nine sellers transferred a total of $19,234 to his bank account in June and July 2018, and Ammisetti had reservations at the hotel from June 29 to July 2, and from July 26 to July 29.

The affidavit said that Ammisetti’s Mohegan Sun player’s club account showed he won $84,196 gambling in 2016, lost $98,928 in 2017 and lost $17,962 between January and March 2018.

Ammisetti appeared on Wednesday in federal court in Hartford. U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Martinez ordered him to be held in federal prison while awaiting his trial or a plea deal. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years for bank fraud and 20 years for wire fraud.

Authorities said that Ammisetti came to the U.S. in 2013 on a student visa, which expired in June 2018. His current address is in Mystic.

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Hackers stole a casino’s high-roller database through a thermometer in the lobby fish tank

April 16th, 2018 · Blackjack News

by Oscar Williams-Grut,

LONDON — Hackers are increasingly targeting ‘internet of things’ devices to access corporate systems — everything from CCTV cameras to air-conditioning units.

The “internet of things” refers to devices that are hooked up to the internet to allow live streams of data to be monitored. The term covers everything from household appliances to widgets in power plants and everything in between.

Nicole Eagan, the CEO of cybersecurity company Darktrace, told the WSJ CEO Council in London on Thursday: “There’s a lot of internet of things devices, everything from thermostats, refrigeration systems, HVAC [air conditioning] systems, to people who bring in their Alexa devices into the offices. There’s just a lot of IoT. It expands the attack surface and most of this isn’t covered by traditional defenses.”
Eagan gave one memorable anecdote about a case Darktrace worked on where an unnamed casino was hacked via a thermometer in a lobby aquarium.

“The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network. They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud,” she said.
Robert Hannigan, who ran the British government’s digital spying agency GCHQ from 2014 to 2017, appeared alongside Eagan on the panel and agreed that hackers targeting internet of things devices is a growing problem for companies.
“With the internet of things producing thousands of new devices shoved onto the internet over the next few years, that’s going to be an increasing problem,” Hannigan said. “I saw a bank that had been hacked through its CCTV cameras because these devices are bought purely on cost.”

He said regulation to mandate safety standards would likely be needed.
“It’s probably one area where there’ll likely need to be regulation for minimum security standards because the market isn’t going to correct itself,” he said. “The problem is these devices still work. The fish tank or the CCTV camera still work.”

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The Lotto Hackers

March 24th, 2018 · Blackjack News

Good article on what it takes to succeed in gambling.

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Man gets probation in casino blackjack conspiracy case

September 6th, 2017 · Blackjack News

By Elisa Sand, Dakota Media Group

A man who admitted his involvement in a casino blackjack scheme was sentenced to two years on probation Friday.

Jeremy K. Brown was one of four people indicted in February and charged in a blackjack scam involving the theft of $10,000 from Dakota Sioux Casino near Watertown.

During a federal court hearing in Aberdeen, he was also ordered to make $2,000 in restitution and pay a $100 special assessment. Both have already been paid.

“This is by far the stupidest mistake I’ve ever made,” Brown said in court.

Brown, then 42; was charged along with Jordan A. Rondell, then 29; Lito B. Bolocon, then 44; and Fern F. Gill, then 52.

Gill pleaded not guilty and was acquitted of charges during a trial on Aug. 22 in Aberdeen. According to court documents, Gill’s attorney defense Chris Dohrer requested a judgment of acquittal after the prosecution presented its evidence. Judge Charles Kornmann granted the request.

A judgment of acquittal is granted when a judge doesn’t believe enough evidence has been presented by prosecutors for a conviction. When it happens, the defense doesn’t have to present evidence or call witnesses.

The three men all pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy as part of plea agreements. Bolocon and Rondell are scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 20.

According to court documents, the charges stem from incidents on Dec. 31, 2015, and Jan. 1, 2016. Brown and Gill were blackjack dealers at the casino, Rondell was a card player and Bolocon was the pit boss supervising the blackjack gaming area. Brown was also part-time pit boss.

It was alleged that Brown and Gill paid Rondell for bets on losing hands.

Bolocon was accused of knowingly allowing the payouts and not following the casino’s policy of rotating dealers.

“Clearly Mr. Brown wasn’t the ringleader in this conspiracy,” Kornmann said.

He noted that Brown paid his restitution even though he did not receive any money from Rondell.

Other charges against Brown, Rondell and Bolocon were dismissed in exchange for their guilty pleas.

Dakota Sioux Casino is 5 miles north of Watertown on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation. It is operated by the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate.

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