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The trial of a player who exploited a bug to beat a video poker machine

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The trial of a player who exploited a bug to beat a video poker machine
Written by François Debruge on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We have regularly talked about cases of cheating, as for example in this article. This time, the events have taken place in a Las Vegas casino. With the help of a friend, a player took advantage of a computer bug in a video poker machine.

5 jackpots in an hour

A man called John Kane, a resident of Las Vegas, managed to win $8,200 while playing a video poker game at the Silverton Casino Lodge in Las Vegas. However, the casino became suspicious and did not pay him the winnings. Indeed, in just an hour the player had won 5 jackpots. As a result, the machine was sent to a laboratory to be tested. It was later discovered that John Kane had taken advantage of a bug to beat the machine.

Before the US Federal Court

The laboratory test results led the casino to file a complaint, which represented the beginning of a legal battle before the Federal Court in Las Vegas. The court will have to establish whether Kane’s actions constitute a violation of federal anti-piracy law. If it does, John Kane and his accomplice Andre Nestor risk a $5,000 fine. Last autumn, a judge held that legislation on fraud did not apply to this particular type of cases. The player and his accomplice were therefore acquitted. The casino subsequently appealed. Thus, the case will soon be decided by the US Federal Court.

A randomly discovered bug

According to the defendants’ lawyer, his clients did not intend to cheat. He played by the rules imposed by the machine. It was the casino’s fault if such rules were not good enough. John Kane started playing in good faith. Then, accidentally, he found a bug by pressing a button too early. The bug enabled him to win the jackpots and to pile up $8,200 in just an hour.


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