A teenager in Finland was sentenced to probation and a fine of $152,000 for his role in defrauding casinos in Malta. In this case of gaming fraud, the youth discovered and exploited a glitch in the online system. The boy’s parents were also complicit in the scheme.
The teenager, who was 16 at the time the crimes were committed, was in danger of being sentenced to jail. However, because of his age, he received a fine and a suspended sentence of a year and eight months for aggravated fraud. His father, who saved a portion of the stolen funds in his bank account, was sentenced to a five-month suspended sentence. The boy’s mother, who forfeited a motorcycle worth $5,770 and stolen funds, received a 60-day suspended sentence for money laundering. None of the family is permitted to gamble until their probation ends.
When the perpetrator was 16 years old, he was playing in an online casino in Malta when he discovered a glitch in the system. The glitch allowed the juvenile to request refunds in money from the casino, even though he did not lose money. Refunds are issued by the casino when a player reports a hack of their account or illegal use of a credit card. In this case, the boy was able to request 417 refunds between April and May of 2017. The fraud was uncovered by a casino employee who was conducting an audit of refunds given by the casino. At the time the employee discovered the fraud, the loophole was closed, and the investigation began. At first, the investigators believed the teenager had stolen nearly $300,000 from the online casino, but the investigation proved the figure was actually $152,000. The boy was ordered by the judge to repay the stolen money and the casino’s legal fees, which amounted to about $3500. The parents, who had a total of $20,000 in their accounts, had to turn the money over to authorities.
Online Casino Crimes
While Oceans 11 and other movies make casino crimes look easy, it’s actually quite difficult to steal from a casino. Not only is online casino crime costly to the casino, it can lead to increased scrutiny of its business practices. For example, in August of 2017, the UK Gambling Commission fined 888 Holdings $10 million, a record fine, after the company found a glitch in its gaming software. The glitch allowed 70,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from the site access to the internet bingo platform. Recently, a company in Australia was fined for an error in their online gaming system allowing under-age gamers to bypass identity check. In addition, Las Vegas sportsbook CG Technologies is facing a possible license revocation in Nevada for problems with its software system. The glitch allowed customer payouts to be miscalculated and allowed the site to continue receiving bets after games were over. Most distressing for the Nevada Gaming Commission is that the glitch took out-of-state bets on the mobile platform that only permits Nevada players.
Glitches in the technology are bound to happen in any business. But online platforms that don’t police themselves or address possible problems are subject to license revocation and fines.
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