Gambling

Video Poker 'Hackers' Cleared of Federal Charges

Took advantage of a software bug

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Two gamblers who took advantage of a software bug to win a small fortune from casino video poker machines will enjoy Thanksgiving without the threat of federal prison hovering over them like a carving knife. A federal judge in Las Vegas this morning dismissed federal charges against the men, ending a nearly two-year-long legal battle over when beating the house becomes a crime.

John Kane, now 55, was arrested in July 2009 at the Silverton Casino Lodge after the casino noticed suspicious play on one of their video poker machines. An avid gambler, according to his attorney, it turned out Kane had discovered a firmware bug in IGT's Game King machine that allowed him to effectively play back a prior winning hand at ten times the original value; he'd been using it to rake in winnings from casinos all around Las Vegas.

Kane's friend and codefendant, 42-year-old Andre Nestor, was arrested in Pennsylvania for allegedly using the bug at a casino there to the tune of $400,000 in winnings.