Tommy Carmichael: Profile of a Slot Machine Cheat

August 10, 2003, 3:35 pm EST

Authorities have labeled him as one of the best slot machine cheats around. Las Vegas has permanently black-listed him, barring him from every casino. The man himself claims that there isn't a slot machine around that he can't beat.

Over 20 years ago, Carmichael was introduced to the slot machine cheating scene when his friend showed him a "top-bottom joint", which at the time was a step up from what other cheats were using, such as plug nickels and quarters attached to a string. The top-bottom joint was soon made obselete by improved slot machine technology, but Carmichael found a way around that as well.

Tommy Carmichael

The casinos would introduce new slot machine technology, and Carmichael would find a way around it. Soon, he devised a device that would shine a light down into the slot machine, tripping a switch that would empty the buckets that held the coins.

Carmichael had devised an unstoppable cheating device, and reaped the benefits. He lived the life of Riley, taking cruises, buying Jaguars, all from his illicit gains. But this type of winning raised the suspicion of casino operators and police, and in 1998, someone gave him up to police and he was arrested.

After that, he was banned from playing in any Las Vegas casino. Currently, he is trying to develop an anti-cheating device that casino operators could use. However, they are understandably weary of this, as they are concerned that such a device could be turned into a cheating device.