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Video poker 'hackers' get away scot-free as US government dismisses fraud charges

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video poker flickr cc sarah nichols 640
video poker flickr cc sarah nichols 640

If you discovered a way to multiply your Vegas winnings 10 times over by exploiting a poker machine bug, would you be afraid of going to jail? John Kane and Andre Nestor did just that, and it looks like they'll manage to walk away with winnings of over $400,000. The pair found a complex exploit in an IGT Game King poker machine in 2009, and for a time the men seemed to be in quite a bit of trouble. The US government attempted to prove that the pair had hacked the machine under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and also accused them of wire fraud. However, the US attorney's office dropped computer fraud accusations in May, and on Friday that office decided not to pursue charges of wire fraud either. Today, with nothing left to prosecute, a Nevada judge dismissed the case entirely.

While we can't know for certain whether the pair would have prevailed in court had the case actually been brought to trial, gamblers looking for any opportunity to beat the house might take the news as a favorable sign.