Software Error - Go to Jail

About 30 patrons of the Caesars Indiana casino in Elizabeth, Indiana reportedly might be facing felony criminal charges for winnings that the casino is claiming is not theirs. Seems that there was a software error in the slot machine called Easy Money which registered $10 worth of credit for every dollar inserted. Caesars reported that it had lost $487K over the July 21 weekend.

Turns out this is not a new occurrence. The Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana lost more than $300K in February to the same software problem. Seems strange that the problem wasn't fixed on every machine after that incident, or if it was, maybe the patch caused a new problem with the same result.

Funny though, in this case faulty software created an opportunity for going to jail, while in the case I discussed a few weeks ago about Warren S. Jeffs' trial, a software error was seen as an opportunity to suppress evidence (he lost this argument). I find it an interesting juxtaposition regarding the world's increasing (and maybe unrealistic) expectations of how reliable IS&T should be.


Risk Factor

IEEE Spectrum's risk analysis blog, featuring daily news, updates and analysis on computing and IT projects, software and systems failures, successes and innovations, security threats, and more.

Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City