usJeff George
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29 July 2019 - 7:32pm

Possible Casino Fraud?

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Recently online casino gambling became legal in Pennsylvania, USA. There is only one casino so far (Parx) that has my preferred game, Blackjack, so I began playing right away. I recently noticed a trend that I thought couldn't possibly be correct since the software was approved by the gaming commission. There are times, more often than not, where a player Blackjack does not pay out correctly. It pays 1.5 to 1 instead of 3 to 2.

Let me give you an example using $5 as a wager:

In a normal hand where you bet $5 and win you get your $5 wager but your $5 winnings for a total of $10 added to your bank. This is shown after the hand in the software as 'Stake $5, Won $10.'

In a Blackjack win this would show as 'Stake $5, Won $12.50,' and your bank would increase by $12.50.

In many, if not most cases, when you see this the casino is only adding $7.50 to your bank, RETAINING YOUR $5 STAKE.

When I presented my screenshot evidence of this to Parx they insisted it was correct because I only WON $7.50, despite any one using the software would know that this is not how it works, and that it clearly says that the player won $12.50 and in other cases it correctly you the $12.50.

This happens with wagers of any size. The higher your bet the more you are being cheated. How many 1000s of players are being cheated even as I'm typing this?

How can I address this and get results? The casino clearly does not understand (willfully or not) that there is a bug somewhere in their software.

auCL-Ed
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29 July 2019 - 11:28pm
#1

Hi Jeff. It sounds like the game is paying 3 for 2 rather than 3 to 2. That is unheard of. It's even worse than 6:5 blackjack.

I created an account there to check on this and I can see at least three different blackjack games in the menu. Do you know which one it is that you were playing? I had a quick go of the one on the right which is published by Net Entertainment. They are a Swedish game developer with a very good reputation and it appears to be paying correctly in my test which you can see in the second screenshot, so perhaps you were playing one of the other two.

parx-blackjack.jpg
parx-net-ent-blackjack.jpg

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auCL-Ed
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29 July 2019 - 11:40pm
#2

Hmm I've tested the other two and they seemed to pay out normally. The first is IGT Blackjack (the one on the left of the menu pic) and you can see I wagered $100 and was paid $250.

The second is the Pro Blackjack game from a company I've not seen before, from memory their logo said GAN as the game loaded. Anyway I played 5 hands at $100 each. 1 was a blackjack and the dealer busted with all other hands still in play, but the game takes them off screen after the hand is resolved. So I should have been paid $200 for 4 hands and $250 for the blackjack and indeed I was.

Each of the table felts on these games state that blackjack pays 3 to 2. Were you playing one of these games or is there another version of blackjack that I am missing? Oh yeah of course I'm not playing with real money, I would hope not but I guess it is possible that makes a difference to the results!

parx-igt-blackjack.jpg
parx-gan-blackjack.jpg

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usJeff George
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30 July 2019 - 12:23am
#3

Hi, CL-Ed.

I'm not sure what you were actually looking at. The real-money online casino is at https://pa.parxcasino.com. They only have the one real-money blackjack game (as shown in the attached image). I've also attached an image showing one of the examples where the game claimed I won $12.50 but only paid me $7.50. Keep in mind that sometimes it does pay the correct amount; just not always. I think is a bug that was not caught in testing during their rush to beat the other casinos.

parx29jul19a.png
parx29jul19b.png
auCL-Ed
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30 July 2019 - 12:37am
#4

That is strange. It is probably due to my IP address revealing that my location is not in Pennsylvania and they must have a separate free play site that they are sending me to.

At least we can see that the game you are playing is not the same as any of the three I tested. I can't make out who publishes that version from your screenshot, it doesn't look like any of the well known online game publishers that I am familiar with.

The felt clearly states blackjack pays 3 to 2 and the game also states this in the green bar on your second screenshot: Previous round: Stake $5.00. Won $12.50.. So the game thinks it is doing the right thing. The question is did it only pay you $7.50? I can't really tell from the screenshots because the while balance between the two screenshots has only changed by $7.50 we can't see at what point they deduct the $5 you wagered initially. Although it would be odd, they may not do that until the hand is completed or at least until after you took that screenshot.

I think your best course of action would be to first double check and confirm absolutely that is what is happening. Take careful note of when the wager is deducted on each hand. If you can, get a video screen recording showing everything happening live. Then follow the process outlined here at the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board site. It says you have to contact the casino first and get a dispute or ticket number, so if you don't have that already you'll need to get one.

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usJeff George
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30 July 2019 - 12:46am
#5

Yes, if you are not in the geographic confines of Pennsylvania you will not be allowed access to the real-money casino. The initial wage is deducted at the beginning of the hand. I could show that if I had some other screens captured. And in normal hands, and even some blackjacks, the funds are increased as they should be. It seems like a bug that can't be reproduced at will. I have currently withdrawn all of my funds, so I don't have anything left to wager. I did log a report with the PA Gaming Board. I just hate to think that there are still people out there getting taken by this system. I'm sure, for auditing purposes, they could retrieve logs of any given hand in the game. Someone on the tech end should see this screenshots and say, 'Uh-oh, we've got a problem.' This could damage the whole online gaming initiative in Pennsylvania.

auCL-Ed
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30 July 2019 - 1:15am
#6

I can understand if it is paying out consistently wrong every time you get a blackjack. That would most likely mean a simple programming error that is easily fixed. I cannot imagine what could possibly cause it to have inconsistent results where it pays correctly some hands and incorrectly on others. If that is what is happening then it does not look very good at all.

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usJeff George
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30 July 2019 - 7:26pm
#7

I received a call from the gaming board today. They have investigated the issue and discussed it with the technical team responsible for Parx Casino. Confirming what they stated, there is a very slight pause when the cards are dealt before your stake is taken from your account. Apparently, when you have a natural blackjack against a showing card that isn't a face card, 10, or ace, the hand is considered finished before your stake is even taken. That makes sense to me. My suspicion is that the times I saw a blackjack pay out the expected 3 to 2 is because I had an opportunity to take 'even money', therefore the stake was taken as my hand was not an automatic winner. I can buy this explanation, but will confirm it myself when I decide to invest more money in this casino. Crisis probably averted at this point.

CL-Ed

auCL-Ed
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30 July 2019 - 10:56pm
#8

Ah I thought something like that might be the case. It is good to hear that the gaming control board is so responsive. Thanks for letting me know and good luck at the casino in future!

Jeff George

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