Spotting scams, stopping cheats, and when to black listRichard W. Munchkin, CDC Gaming Reports · October 7, 2017 at 1:01 pmScams, Cheats and Black Lists: Current Fraud and Casino Crimes was presented on Monday, October 2 at G2E by Deputy Chief James Taylor of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board. Deputy chief Taylor has clearly done this type of presentation before; he knows how to keep a crowd entertained while still imparting important information.2016 saw 808 criminal investigation that resulted in 384 arrests. This is up from 2015 in which there were 602 investigations resulting in 323 arrests. The disturbing trend was a large uptick in chip grabs, rail grabs, and most alarmingly, armed robberies.Taylor showed surveillance footage and began what sounded like a joke. “A piggy, a wolf, and a panda walk into the Bellagio carrying sledgehammers.” It’s not a joke, though; in the video, we see four men calmly walking through the shopping area of the Bellagio. They approach the Rolex Store and smash the glass door. Three go inside and start smashing cases and grabbing watches. The fourth stands guard outside the store, wearing his pig mask. At one point Mr. Pig decides he wants in on the action, and tries to smash the front window of the store. It apparently is bulletproof, because no matter how hard he hits it with the sledge, the hammer just bounces off. Eventually, the four take off. That isn’t the end of it, though. These brainiacs had apparently left their car running in the Bellagio parking lot. A good Samaritan noticed the car running, shut it off, and brought the keys inside to security. When the thieves got to the parking lot, they found they had no way to start the car. They attempted a carjacking, unsuccessfully, and then took off. Three of the four blended into the crown on the strip, but Mr. Pig elected to hide in some bushes where he was arrested after some tourists pointed him out to the police.Of the 808 investigations Taylor cited, over 20% were “fraud acts.” One type of fraud act (and this accounted for half the arrests) is capping or pinching a bet. Capping is adding money to your bet either after a result or after cards have been dealt, and pinching is removing money from a bet. Half of these arrests were people capping or pinching from side bets on the blackjack table. Taylor emphasized that even if the amount is $2, it’s a felony.One interesting case involved a man playing a slot machines called Haystacks. Some players had found that if you added cash into the machine when the machine had entered a bonus round, you could continue playing without the machine deducting anything from your balance. The casino had been made aware of this glitch because someone in surveillance had read a message board where players were discussing it. (Note – the casino didn’t remove the machine.) In this case, they had surveillance footage of a man playing this machine. He entered the bonus round, put more money in the machine, and then held his hand over the glass to obscure the view of his balance so you could not see that he wasn’t being charged for his spins. He was arrested, and initially the DA declined to prosecute. The GCB asked for a meeting and changed the DA’s mind, who then got a conviction. Someone asked, “Why is that illegal?” It’s not the patrons fault that the machine has a flaw. As an answer, Mr. Taylor pointed to this section of the fraud act: “To claim, collect or take, or attempt to claim, collect or take, money or anything of value in or from a gambling game, with intent to defraud, without having made a wager contingent thereon, or to claim, collect or take an amount greater than the amount won.”In 2016 almost 60% of the arrests were for theft, petit theft, or a fraud act. Only 24 arrests were for cheating at gambling. 18% of arrests were casino employees, which was down slightly from the year before.