The Nevada Gaming Commission employed Ronald Harris Ward in the 1990s. This was long before the days of the best uk online casino games, or USA or any other country for that matter. We were in firm ‘bricks and mortar’ territory’.
He was responsible for analyzing and testing the software used by the slot machines to determine if it had any flaws.
It was part of his job to travel around Las Vegas to check the slot machines for errors, which was a tedious but necessary task to prevent cheating.
Slot Machine Programming
His knowledge of the inner and outer workings of the slot machines made him one of the few Nevada Gaming employees who had full access to the secret code that allowed him to reprogram the RNG (The Random Number Generator) of the slot machines.
To be more specific, he reprogrammed the slot machine’s software using EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory), which controlled how much money the machine paid out. It also affected the exact time the slot machine would win.
His own microchip replaced the memory in the slot machine’s microchips so that it would pay out when coins inserted in a specific sequence were inserted.
He used three coins for the first spin, two for the second spin, two for the third spin, one for the fourth spin, and so on.
If he inserted the coins in his pre-programmed sequence, the machine would pay him out, and the cameras would not pick up anything suspicious.
He could not, however, do this alone because he is a Nevada Gaming Board employee. As a result, he recruited an old unemployed friend named Reid McNeal to assist him.
Despite making money from playing the games that Ward programmed for McNeal, they grew greedy as a result.
They decided to do a single big payout of $100 000 on a Keno machine, but since the odds of hitting such a jackpot were 230 000, the casino became suspicious. It’s no surprise, as even with todays best online casino payouts, 100k is still impressive.
Mcneal was followed back to his hotel room, where security found Ward and all the evidence. The two were arrested and charged, but Reid got off for giving evidence against Ward.
Ward was jailed for seven years.