Syndicate member jailed 22 months for cheating casinos

Radoslav Skubnik, 40, admitted to three charges of cheating.
Radoslav Skubnik, 40, admitted to three charges of cheating.

Czech national 'won' $20k by recording slot machines on smartphone to predict payouts

A member of a gambling syndicate, who won about $20,000 after recording gaming machines on his smartphone to predict payouts, was jailed for 22 months yesterday.

Czech national Radoslav Skubnik, 40, admitted to three charges of cheating at the casinos in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) and Marina Bay Sands last month. Cases against his two alleged accomplices, Russians Vladislav Logachev, 40, and Andrei Egorov, 33, are pending.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jordon Li said that in 2012, former sales director Skubnik joined a Russian syndicate operating in casinos in the United States, Europe and Macau targeting certain manufacturers' slot machines.

Syndicate members would form teams consisting of "a master" (team leader) and "players".

After using the devices to record the play patterns of slot machines, the master would upload the information to an unknown server for analysis and decoding.

The decoded data was then sent back to the master, who in turn distributed it to the players.

Armed with the decoded data, players returned to the same slot machines with the devices, which would alert them to when the next big payout was going to be made.

Logachev allegedly taught Skubnik how to use the devices in Russia. Skubnik was then sent to carry out the scam in casinos in Europe and Macau.

At the end of each job, each player would get 10 per cent of the winnings while the master would get 5 per cent from each player.

The remainder would go to the syndicate.

In April this year, Logachev called Skubnik in Prague and asked him to travel to Singapore to use the devices in casinos here.

After he arrived on May 5, Skubnik received a call from Logachev, who had also arrived in Singapore, telling him to go to RWS. Logachev sent the decoded data related to the compromised machines to the devices held by Skubnik.

Skubnik then located the compromised machines and fraudulently used the devices to gain an advantage. As a result, he won $6,402.

Between May 6 and May 7, he used the devices while playing on two of the compromised machines at RWS. He won $13,352.

But he lost $783 while playing on six compromised machines at the MBS casino as the devices were unable to accurately predict the payouts, the court heard.

An MBS security officer alerted police to the scam on May 8. Police have recovered winnings totalling about $120,000 from the syndicate.

DPP Li said Skubnik came to Singapore for the sole purpose of committing the offences.

Skubnik could have been fined up to $150,000 and/or jailed for up to seven years on each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2016, with the headline 'Syndicate member jailed 22 months for cheating casinos'. Print Edition | Subscribe