Tales from Monkey Hell
32Red Casino is a fairly new Microgaming casino that is based out of Gibraltar and is run by Ed Ware, a highly experienced executive formerly employed by the British gambling giant Ladbrokes. Everything seemed to be honky-dory until one his players, we’ll call her Rhonda X., claimed to have won a jackpot at the Monkey Money Slots. He was a bit perplexed at this since it was not recorded in her playing logs. He called me on the phone stating that this was very unusual since Microgaming’s software is very precise and has a number of safeguards to avoid these occurences. He also stated that this player had a screen shot to prove her win, but there seemed to be some problems. It just didn’t look quite right. He called me merely to give me a heads up since he felt I would be hearing from her.
Meanwhile, Miss Rhonda X. was getting her panties tied in a knot. She made numerous threats to the casino, telling 32Red that they should just “settle” because it wasn’t worth it. They had an expert look over the screen shot she sent and they deemed it a fake. They suggested that she should bring her case to a third party, namely the Online Players Association or Casinomeister. She opted NOT to come to me since she felt that I was affiliated with 32Red and would be biased towards them and against her. Little did she know, I was an OPA committee chairperson and am privy to OPA business.
But in all fairness, I do not handle OPA complaints since I do that here, and I promised not to intervene with this case since I wanted her to have an unbiased judgement. I made this clear to her, and that’s what I did.
She then wrote:
I was mad and felt like I was being cheated…I have be a cop for 20 years and am now an agent in the new US Homeland Security Dept. and greatly took offense to their implications) I did later apologize…….Also what confounds me is their logic…how could anyone in a matter of minutes make up a cheat or a picture the exact likeness of the game with the jackpot winning in a matter of minutes…As a detective I can tell you I find this assumption impossible,,,
If I am not making this clear…..the events were exactly thus…..I played the game, hit spin, get 3 dancing face monkeys with the winning red bar across….then the screen freezes….I snap a picture, reboot, pop in the diskreader and send them an email and a pic from my digital camera with the 3 monkeys winning. I find it highly unlikely that anyone could pull off what they are claiming. Also to be fair to them…I was asked why I didn’t send them a picture of the whole screen…..I told them the closeup of the win I thought was obvious enough….in total I took probably 5 pictures some did not come out….Frankly I thought that timing was of the essence…so I sent the clearest picture of the win…the quality wasn’t great but clear….later I sent another….some did not come out because I had the flash on…
And then she went on…
We can point fingers all day but it solves nothing…yes I would love the 3000…Christmas is coming….but I will get over it……As far as getting a third party involved….I can’t use the casinomeister…..after checking his site again he is affiliated with you…the only unbias third party I can get involved is the newly formed National Criminal Intelligence Service (if you are in the UK) or the FBI and Homeland Security whom I am just going to work for now……I would like to avoid my first day on the job being …”Hey will someone investigate the casino I was playing on line…. I say they owe me money they say I cheated.” Yes If I wanted to make your life miserable, but it will also make mine miserable..3000 just ain’t worth it……theft is another matter.
That is why I do not want third parties plus you are said to be an honest man as far as my sources…..
SO can we please take the easy way out of this …refund the monies I deposited (we both know you can do this)…..and we will both write it off as what ever….if not we will proceed from there.
I hope that this makes sense to you…I look forward to your reply
Regards, Lt. Rhonda X.
So now she starts signing her emails off with LT. She had everyone shaking in their boots NOT. About this time, Microgaming provided a screenshot of what a REAL win would have looked like. You can compare the two here:
The above screenshot was provided by Microgaming (I added the word “VOID” to protect others from fraud). This screenshot will give you an idea where lines should meet and what the spacing ought to be concerning the monkey and banana images on the reels.
Here is the screenshot that was sent to the casino (and to the OPA) and I’ve taken the liberty to highlight what I think is odd. Anyone who does any work in Photoshop would be able to pick this out. The jpg that the player provided was taken by a digital camera, but in my opinion the player (or someone this person knows) created this image and then took a snapshot. You be the judge.
Now she claimed to have made this shot with a digital camera, which was true, the jpg was produced by a digital camera. But her logic was this, and this she repeated on a number of occassions: she made the shot moments after her win thus how could it be faked? Well, you could work for hours on a graphic, then play at a casino and feign a win, then open the image, take the shot, and send it to the casino. But what a shot!! It looks as if some teenager on his first day of Photoshop school pieced this together. I found no less than seven errors in the screenshot.
The OPA got rather upset, booted her out and banned her for life. I wrote the following email to her:
Dear Rhonda X,
Like I mentioned before, I have stayed out of the discussion regarding your complaint at the OPA so that you’d have a fair review. Tortex is handling your case in a fair and impartial manner. The casino probably had no idea that I am one of the founders of the OPA and on the executive committee as well. Nevertheless in my honest opinion, what you are trying to do is just short of extortion, and your claim that you’re a police officer and a member of the Homeland Security is a felony since it probably isn’t true.
Your screenshot is faked, and I think this has been undoubtedly proven. Anyone with a basic skill in graphic design could try to do the same thing, but unfortunately this screen shot has quite a number of errors which are very obvious. Your claim of making the “shot” within seconds of the “win” is believable since anyone can spend a decent amount of time creating a screen shot, and then feign a win and take the photograph.
I am amazed at your boldness trying to pull this off. Apparently you think that you are dealing with some “offshore” rinky-dink casino run by some half-wits. This casino is based in Gibraltar, which is part of the UK, and licensed there as well. The owners are experienced land based casino operators who have a very high profile and reputations. The software they use is one of the finest in the business. You definitely picked the wrong casino to extort. And if you are truly a police officer as you claim to be, I would like to see some evidence of this. Please provide me with a copy of your identification, and perhaps some cases that you have been involved with in the past. Court dockets are no problem for me to look up. And if you are employed by the federal government, I would like to see some undeniable proof of that as well. Or of course, you can come clean and admit your attempt to defraud the casino. The choice is yours.
Well, I thought that after this email, she would finally come to her senses, and she did! It turned out that we are victims of her evil teenager!! She wrote back:
You have undoubtedly you have been prey of my 15 year old whom thankfully you busted. After his realization that he could not get my money back..plus me finally getting copies of bank statements has led to me finding out about his 2 months work of a gambling spee using using my accounts and credit cards that covers 4 or 5 casinos that I know about..I am sorry for the inconvenience and that you for your help ……thank you the real Ms. X
Hello my name is Rhonda X,,it seems I have a 15 year old child that has been gambling all over the internet using my paypal accounts bank accounts and credit cards…..He says he played here multiple times under multiple names…..he is a good kid usually and we have never had any trouble with him before but I am going through a divorce and if this is what they call acting out I may not survive…..he says he has not won money but I do not know,,,,,all I have is a record of what he has spent from my account what do I do…I am terribly embarrassed that I did not catch it sooner….I have no excuse..I am ashamed and do not know what we need to do to fix this situation he has spent thousands of dollars and frankly I am beside myself right now……names he could have used are Rhonda X, Rhonda X, Tim X…I also have 4 new email accounts…..my primary account is firstname.lastname@example.org…I now have email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com…could you please check your records and email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org….I will be doing a hard delete of all these files……again I am sorry for the problems..just tell me what to do now…sincerely. Rhonda X
Casinos I know of are Kiwi, 32red, magiclamp, bingomania, and cyberbingo
HEY CASINOS! SCAM ALERT!! I hope everyone can tell this is obviously the same person writing. The styles are identical: punctuation and spelling problems are virtually identical.
It gets even better. Further investigation reveals that this person collects Vintage Jewelry and sells forged poetry by Lizzie Borden on Ebay. I’m not kidding.
UPDATE 13 JUNE 2003 Rhonda X returns!!
I was contacted by the representatives of Desert Dollar Casino, and they were amazed that the same player was trying the same thing with them. But this time she was pretending that a “hacker” had hacked her computer while she was playing and stole her login and password. Here is a screenshot of what she presented to the casino:
She also wrote them the following:
I don’t know what is going on but it is not funny. I sent you an email saying I liked the casino but there were some problems with the odds on the power poker and I then get a denial of service and the following message from someone. Please see the screen shot….now my account is empty. What is going on. Rhonda account #DDRxxxxxxx
Do I need to get the police involved I expect to be paid the $1100.
What a loser. The casino did thorough investigation and wrote back:
We have conducted a thorough investigation of your account as well as the attached screenshot you claim was made while you were playing in our casino. You seem to suggest that the funds disappeared from your account as a result of someone who gained access to your account and password details.
We are without doubt that the screenshot was fabricated and that you are trying to defraud us and we will therefore not entertain this issue any further.
Should you wish to contest this, please contact me at the above address.
And then she contacts me, stating that she did a search for “Evil Rhonda” at Google, and this page came up. She tried to convince me that there is another evil Rhonda, that it was not she who had tried to defraud 32Red (and a number of others besides them). Get a life Rhonda!