During a Piers Morgan Uncensored programme this week, the limelight was back on 20-year-old Chess Grandmaster Hans Niemann. Last year, Niemann was accused of cheating by Magnus Carlsen after he beat the latter at the 2022 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, ending Norwegian Carlsen’s 53-game winning streak. Despite Carlsen’s lack of specifics regarding what he claimed Niemann did during their match, allegations that Niemann used vibrating anal beads to receive signals telling him which moves to make abounded on social media.
During the programme, Morgan referred to the scandal and asked the chess player if he had cheated, and the latter denied. Piers Morgan immediately asked again, specifying “to be clear on the specific allegation, have you ever used anal beads while playing chess? Not a question I ever thought I’d ask a guest to be honest.” Niemann’s tongue in cheek remark was another emphatic no, whilst questioning Morgan’s curiosity about the allegation.
Cheating in sports and gambling is an unfortunate reality, one which needs serious consideration. One could be forgiven for thinking that cheating scandals are a recent phenomenon, but the reality is that the earliest world-famous scandal happened more than 100 years ago. Eight Chicago White Sox players were charged with conspiring with a gambling ring led by racketeer and gambling tycoon Arnold Rothstein to rig the 1919 World Series matchup against the Cincinnati Reds. The players were acquitted in court two years later but were permanently barred from all honours, including nomination for the Hall of Fame. The incident became notorious as the Black Sox scandal.
More recently, in the pairs figure skating competition at the 2002 Winter Olympics, a French judge was accused of colluding with a Russian judge to ensure that the Russian pair won gold. Following the incident, judging criteria for figure skating events were changed.
Infamous casino cheaters
Over almost two decades, Tommy Glenn Carmichael stole millions of dollars from casinos by devising ways to rig slot machines. One of his inventions, known as the slider or monkey’s paw, was a wire he would insert through the machine’s payout chute to trip the microswitch, tricking the machine into releasing a jackpot. As slot machine technology improved, so did Carmichael’s techniques. He created a “light wand” made from a camera battery and a light bulb that could fool a slot machine’s sensor into spitting out coins.
Earlier in 2023, a doctor in Thailand removed implanted magnets from the fingertips of a man’s left-hand middle and ring fingers. The patient had inserted them four decades previously to cheat at the illegal Hi-Lo dice game. He had approached the doctor to remove the magnets as he had to board a flight and feared that his magnetic fingers would set off the airport security alarm. Despite being illegal, Hi-Lo is a well-known game played in illicit casinos throughout Thailand.
In Macau in August 2023, personnel of the gaming-related Crimes Division of the Judiciary Police found that people were using counterfeit chips in a Cotai casino, defrauding a total of HKD 4.93 million (€580,000) in the process.
Online sports betting scams are a serious concern for bettors. Scammers have devised numerous tactics to exploit unsuspecting individuals. For instance the internet is flooded with bogus sports betting websites that appear enticing at first.
In the Philippines, PAOCC Executive Director Gilbert Cruz said that online scammers provide a harder problem than drug traffickers because of their higher revenues and greater difficulty in tracking. He stated that “the problem with online scams is now worse than drugs”.
AI keeps cheating in check
Speaking during the 2023 SiGMA Asia Summit, Alex Chernavin, Senior Development Manager at Oddin.gg, explained how AI is being used in a regulatory sense to prevent cheating in Esports contests. Methods of cheating include unauthorised access to data and invasive use of radar.
The use of AI technology monitors such instances through the analysis of various data points related to sports bets, including factors such as specific match details and their market context.
The Piers Morgan interview may be viewed here.
Join us in Malta between the 13 – 17 November for SiGMA Europe 2023
SiGMA Europe’s Malta Week festival brings together a diverse and international group of industry leaders for a convergence of expo, conference, and networking. The event will be held at the Mediterranean Maritime Hub (MMH), a larger, more dynamic venue that promises a raw, industrial, and unconventional space unlike anything ever used before.
In the words of SiGMA Group founder Eman Pulis, “We’re redesigning your entire experience, from the minute you land in Malta until the very last moment. I look forward to welcoming you with open arms to this iGaming festival.”
Find all the details here.