Gambling machines in the Milwaukee area are being scammed by some of their patrons, but prosecuting the scammers is difficult. The gambling machines are illegal in Wisconsin, and in some situations the theft is going unpunished.
Patrons usually scam the gambling machines in one of two ways. They either collect winnings from the bar after placing nothing into the machines, or they manage to take money or credits out of the machines without a legitimate win. The object of the scam is to win, not by playing the game of chance, but by somehow fooling the video poker machine into thinking that money has been deposited and a win has occurred. Other thefts are completed by prying the currency area of the game open and removing the money.
In Caledonia, for example, two men were found to have scammed a machine located in a bar. Using a tool to retrieve the original currency, the men allegedly put a bill into the machine, then pulled it back out and repeated the process over and over, fooling the machine into giving them credits. When caught, one of the men commented to police that he had been arrested previously and was released with no consequences. The state game operator’s association says that this is an ongoing problem for them. The police are unable to help protect the illegal machines in a significant way.
Anyone who may be facing criminal charges for what might or might not be deemed a crime may benefit from consultation with a defense lawyer. In cases where an alleged theft has been committed or money has been obtained in a potentially fraudulent manner, it may be important to know what the laws are regarding that particular activity.
Source: The Journal Times, “Cheating illegal machines — State law makes video poker theft tough to prosecute”, Stephanie Jones, December 21, 2013