Two video poker players who exploited casino machines had their court case dismissed last week, three years after their arrests. The men, John Kane and Andre Nestor, discovered a software bug in IGT-brand poker machines that allowed them – through a sequence of steps – to play back their winning hands for 10 times the original value.
Federal prosecutors charged the players with computer fraud and wire fraud. The series of button presses constituted a form of hacking, they said. The defense lawyers countered that the men were playing by the machine's imposed rules.
After losing a May pre-trial argument, the hacking charge was dropped, but the prosecution maintained the wire fraud claim. Ultimately, the Las Vegas court reviewed evidence and dismissed the case.
Kane and Nestor won more than $400,000 through the scheme, which remained undetected in machines for seven years.