60 Minutes Reveals Gambling Cheating Scandal

Published on: December 1, 2008 

Anyone watching '60 Minutes' on November 30th had the unique opportunity to learn about a cheating scandal that is plaguing the gambling community.  According to the report made on the show, a large scale cheating scandal has robbed more than twenty million dollars unfairly from players by other players over the last few years, casting a shadow over an industry that is looked down upon by many – including the American government – and casting fear into the heart of online gamblers and poker players alike.  But the problem is not in the online casino industry, surprisingly enough.  The problem is at the live casinos as well as on the online poker tables.

According to the '60 Minutes', online casinos and poker rooms are set at the same standards as their brick and mortar counterparts in places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, especially when it comes to mechanical games such as slots.  But the scandal is coming into play in how the two separate entities in the gambling community are paying out their winners.  Most live slot machines such as the ones found in the aforementioned cities are set to pay out between 83 and 88 percent of the time.  Online casinos are set to pay out much higher, as much as 97%.  What does this mean to the average person?  It means that for every dollar a gambler plunks into a Vegas slot machine, the machine will pay them back 83 cents.  Online slot machines will pay back…you guessed it…97 cents for every dollar played.

Why is there such a discrepancy?  Online casinos do not offer their players the choice of evening entertainment.  When a gambler visits Vegas or Atlantic City, they can enjoy shows, restaurants, hotel amenities and more that an online player cannot.  By offering the player other pursuits, brick and mortar casinos can keep their payouts lower.  Online casinos have no reason to and by paying out at the larger percentage rate they stand a better chance of keeping their players coming back again and again.

The online poker world, however, does not have the same advantage.  Poker players compete one against the other, and the more the person plays the more the house benefits.  But the house only benefits if players keep playing and now that there has been the revealing of an online poker scandal, many of the online poker rooms may discover that there is a decline in play thanks to the cheaters fleecing the legitimate poker players.

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