A video uploaded on YouTube by professional blackjack player Michael Morgenstern seems to show an online blackjack dealer fiddling the shoe to switch cards with a player. The “switch” resulted in a losing hand for the player. Costa Rica’s Global Gaming Labs (GGL) provides the Live Dealer feed to BetOnline and other leading online casinos.
Morgenstern was in the U.S. and was playing at BetOnline’s live dealer online blackjack when he recorded the incident. In the video, the blackjack dealer appears to reach for the shoe, tap his finger on the cards twice, slightly nudged the immediate card up using his finger, and then took the second card in line to the player, then immediately dealt the card to himself.
This caused the dealer to take an 8 card while the player only got a 6 card. If no nudging up of the card was done, then the player could have gotten the 8 card and the dealer the 6 card. In other words, the player could have won if no alleged cheating was done by the blackjack dealer.
Online gamers are now putting in their two cents on the cheating incident, even formulating their own theories about possible casino/dealer cheating. Some pros believe that casinos keep track of cards though RFID chips. Some say that there are recording devices that make it possible for dealers to “hear” which card will come next in the shoe, and that all playing cards are being scanned in the shoe so that the dealer will know which cards to deal for the house to win.
If the blackjack dealer was indeed cheating, why did he do it in front of the player? Did he really need to cheat when he knows he will eventually win because of the house edge?
The alleged cheating happened on January 25, 2017. On February 18, 2017, GGL’s Live Dealer was replaced by Visionary iGaming. On February 20, 2017, BetOnline issued a press release regarding the cheating incident. The online casino clarified that GGL is no longer the provider for BetOnline and that the company will gladly accommodate legitimate complaints about GGL.
BetOnline is in its best effort to distance itself from its previous game provider. It is therefore interesting to watch if online gamers’ confidence on BetOnline will be restored. An interesting thought is that GGL is a third party supplier of Live Casino games so that any direct influence on dealers is a very low probability. As of this writing, Global Gaming Labs is yet to respond on allegations.