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Roulette Scam in London Ritz

30 Oct 2009
Roulette table in the Ritz casino, London.

Unbeatable though it seems, Roulette table attracts players from all over the world with its high payouts. You have probably heard about a story in the Ritz hotel in London, where three players won £1.300 000 by cheating at roulette table.

The case involves three two Serbian men (33 and 38) and a Hungarian woman (aged 32) that made two visits to the Ritz casino in one month. The first night of the game brought them £100,000 and the second night turned out to be even better than they could ever dream of, as they won £1.2m. The casino paid out £300,000 and the rest was given in a check. As a rule, the casino staff checks the cameras for fraud each time a big win like this happens. They did it this time and called the police.

The three were arrested in the hotel with a significant amount of cash and a number of mobile phones, all of which were confiscated immediately. However, they had been bailed by the end of the month.

The scheme they used involved a computer program and a laser scanner inbuilt into a mobile phone. The laser, pointed at the roulette wheel predicted the probable slot or sector where the ball will land and the players won by placing correct bets.

According to the sources of Scotland Yard, the case is found to be very complex. Met's specialized detectives are working hard to find out how did this scam work. The biggest problem is the fact that this case signals about the bad condition of research in this area. To make matters worse, the laws covering gaming all date back to the mid 19th century when no one could even think about such technologies.

The technique used by the gang used the principle of "sector targeting". The player/computer determines the moment and place where the ball is released and the point when is passes after a couple of spins. These figures are used to calculate the "decaying orbit" of the ball and to predict where the ball is likely to land. No player can calculate this without a help of an electronical device. True, in the early eighties, a book by Scott Lang revealed how to predict the slot at a roulette table with a help of a digital stopwatch, after that stopwatches are banned in all the casinos. The rumors have spread about computers able to predict where the ball will land. However, this group took the steps much further and used a laser scanner to check the speed of the ball more precisely.

The whole operation with a scanner takes two-three seconds and a player has to act fast to place the bet before the dealer announces "No more bets".

Nevertheless, this scam is found to be debatable by many roulette experts. The main question will be whether the court will find them guilty in cheating or will they be found innocent and having won with the help of a roulette system.

The government of the UK is planning to introduce a new gambling law explaining all the aspects of casino cheating.

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