Tommy Carmichael cheated Vegas casinos out of millions for almost 40 years by rigging slots. From humble beginnings in the TV repair industry, he became a master of manipulating the mechanics of slot games so he could cash in big. His skills granted him different cheating tools that guaranteed him big instant wins.
Over the years, the technology used to create slot machines improved and Tommy himself had to do the same. He even got to know other casino cheats, and together, they took the casinos to the cleaners for millions.
Like most cheaters, they always get caught and unfortunately for Tommy, his luck did run out, and he was caught, resulting in time behind bars.
In the Beginning…
Tommy Glenn Carmichael was born in the mid-1950s during a time when technology was starting to advance more rapidly. Even as a child, knowing how and why a piece of technology works the way it does interested Tommy, which is probably why he decided to open a television merchandise and repair shop in the 1980s.
Tommy Carmichael was always interested in technology and how things worked when growing up. It was only natural then that he would open his own TV repair business in the 80s. Located in Oklahoma, the company was a success, and others took note – and the competition grew! Soon Tommy was struggling to keep his business open.
A failing business along with community service for drug offences, and the process of a third divorce all meant that Tommy’s life was folding around him – but he remained determined.
An old school friend turned up with a tool in his car that he claimed would change his life, which it did. It was the classic cheater tool. A top-bottom joint used to rig casino machines.
Tommy practised and perfected how to use this tool on slot machines before heading out to the casino. After winning $35 in minutes as a test run, the weekend turned into a $10,000 weekend of winnings.
Tommy Glenn Carmichael spent the next few years accumulating millions of dollars from casinos on the Strip by using these strategies. The casinos become more aware of cheater’s tools like the one Tommy was using, so they decided to update their machines using the latest available technology. Slot machines now were operating through RNGs or Random Number Generators.
Tommy racked up big wins for years, but the casinos became aware of such cheater tools the one in Tommy’s possession and changed the technology of their games with RNGs, which are still used today. The switch meant Tommy was unable to keep winning at the big casinos and had to start using smaller casinos. However, this made him and his activity stand out without the huge crowds. With the police tracking him for a week, he was caught red-handed with the tool in his possession.
The Later Years
When Tommy came out of prison, the new video slots were far too advanced for his old methods so he spent his time-saving money and working so he could buy a video slot, dissect it and come up with a new tool. He did this successfully and started winning thousands each night once again.
But the technology kept advancing and Tommy even had to pose to a casino owner as a customer wanting to buy a new slot machine, who obliged in opening the slot and explaining its mechanics. Tommy continued to develop tools to overcome the slots and sold them to others.
He then teamed up with professional gambling cheats and hit Vegas and Atlantic City, taking millions away each day until he was caught on camera again. After serving less than 12 months in jail, he used his skills for good working with gambling organisations to develop an anti-cheating device.