For this article, I enlisted the assistance of a friend and former work colleague of mine, Beyers Rautenbach. We worked together as Surveillance Specialists (Shift Managers) at Suncoast Casino. When I left to pursue my career further afield, he stayed behind and was later assigned to the Investigastions Department, where he is definitely proving his worth. Beyers used to be a slots floor supervisor before coming across to Surveillance as a Specialist and indeed, his knowledge of all things Slots proved to be invaluable to the department.
Touch Bet Roulette (TBR) 27/04/2009
I started working in the gaming industry in January 1999 where I was a slots floor attendant, it was not much long after that I was promoted to Slots Floor Supervisor must have been around 2001. In the late part of 2002 I transferred to Durban in the capacity of a Slots Floor Supervisor where I assisted in the installation of 1350 slot machines for Durban’s Casino.
The Installation consisted different types of manufacturers and brands of machines, some of which I have never heard such as, the Touch Bet Roulette machine never the less I was eager to learn and as the days progressed so did the installation.
The Touch Bet Roulette machine in those days consisted of 8 machines a Roulette wheel and obviously the computer (Mother Board). Once all the machines where installed the casino opened up in late November 2002. I was amazed to see how this Touch Bet Roulette (TBR) machine operated and paid a lot of attention to this. These machines needed a dealer to spin the roulette wheel because at this stage it was manual and the dealer would have to manually spin the ball. These machines operated the same as the roulette table; however there were no physical chips involved as it was all computer generated and the punter would place the bets on the screens where after the dealer would spin the ball and the machine would pay the guest for any winnings.
Obviously as all machines have Ram errors and disputes so did the TBR, this would occur whenever the ball was not registered by the optic on the wheel and there fore the number would have to be re-inserted by a senior person. The Slots Shift Manager or Lead Technician would carry an override key and a password which they would then have to open up the computer and re-insert the previous winning number which would then start the game over and the dealer would re spin the ball. Prior to the senior having to re-insert the last winning number, the guests bets would be credited back to them and the machine tilt/error would be attended to. Whilst it was fixed no bets were allowed to be placed as the last winning number would have to be re-inserted and the machine would look for any payments that still had to be made after the previous number is inserted.
I left Slots in January 2004 and joined the Surveillance Department in the capacity of a Surveillance Specialist (Shift Manager), it was not long after that round about May 2004, I picked up on my first Slots scam which happened to be on the TBR machines and luckily for me, I had some knowledge on these machines.
Whilst I was panning around with one of the PTZ cameras on the Slots Floor, I noticed that one of the TBR machine doors were left open and unattended, this to me was unusual because if a door is open, there should be someone either working on the machine or someone attending to a tilt but this was not the case and after checking the entire bank of machines, I noticed one of the technicians busy in the vicinity of the computer and this to me was very suspicious. At first I just called him and asked him to close the door. From that time on I became suspicious and decided to review tapes.
Upon reviewing the tapes I noticed that a guest had called him over and made a claim that something was wrong with the machine, the technician would make as if he fixed the problem and then for some or other reason he proceeded to the computer. Whilst at the computer he instructed all the other guests to cancel their bets as he needed to re-insert the previous winning number at this stage the guest whom he assisted with an alleged problem, would then place bets all over the previous winning number and after the number was inserted the machine would pay the specific guest.
This I noticed happened on numerous occasions that night, never the less I contacted the Investigation department and an investigation was initiated into this suspicious behavior.
After certain reports were drawn it was noticed that this specific guest and technician where in collusion as the guest would only win on those machines when the said technician was on shift and these amounts ranged anything from R 1 500.00 ($ 168) to R 58 000.00 ($ 6 520).
The technician was then apprehended after the investigation proved that they were in collusion together and questioned by investigations. The technician confirmed all the allegation presented to him and was later arrested for fraud.