Casino cheats

Two Russians used high-tech tools for slot-machine scam

Two more syndicate members were jailed yesterday for using sophisticated technology to record gaming machines at casinos and later predicting the next mass payout of the machines.

Russians Vladislav Logachev, 41, and Andrei Egorov, 33, were sentenced to 45 months and 30 months in prison respectively. Their accomplice, Czech national Radoslav Skubnik, 41, was jailed for 22 months last year.

Logachev had pleaded guilty to six of 16 charges while Egorov had admitted to three of 13 charges.

Over three days in May last year, the trio won $108,995 from cheating at play at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa casinos.

The court heard that some time in 2012, Skubnik joined a Russian syndicate operating in casinos in the United States, Europe and Macau, targeting slot machines from certain manufacturers.

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 taught Skubnik and Egorov 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 15 to 20 per cent, with the remainder going to the syndicate.

Some time in March last year, Logachev arranged for some syndicate members to travel to Singapore. The members used their devices to record the play patterns on specific slot machines at the casinos.

These recordings were then analysed and the data was given to Logachev while he was in Russia. Logachev then brought the analysed data in a laptop to Singapore.

All three arrived in Singapore on May 5 last year to commit cheating at play. An MBS security officer alerted police to the scam on May 8. All the winnings have been recovered by the police.

Logachev and Egorov's sentences were backdated to May 10.

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

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2017, with the headline 'Two Russians used high-tech tools for slot-machine scam'. Print Edition | Subscribe