Is Cheating a Question?
As has recently been discussed on the Forums, there is a YouTube video out there that shows the possibility of a live Blackjack dealer for BetOnline casino possibly cheating at Blackjack:
During the hand in question, the player in the fifth position at the table has decided to split twos against a dealer showing a ten (why?) which eventually results in the player busting on the first of the two hands and eventually drawing to an eleven, doubling-down, and ending up with a seventeen on the second of the two hands. The dealer then draws an eight to his ten and his total of eighteen beats that player’s seventeen and that player loses both hands.
The footage of the alleged cheating starts at about the three minute mark. If you would like to skip straight to the alleged cheating itself (this video has no sound), I would recommend this video.
Which shows the dealer’s face and is a slow motion video that points out specifically where the alleged cheat took place and how it was executed.
This video came about as a result of a live Blackjack feed being hosted by, “Blackjack Professional,” Michael Morgenstern during which the alleged cheating took place. Eventually, Mr. Morgenstern was apparently told to take another look at the video which seems to show the dealer dealing out the second card to the player who eventually lost while taking the eight for himself.
For those of you who would otherwise watch the video, I’m going to save you some time. If you recall the most annoying person in your entire high school, the one who couldn’t string together a grammatically correct sentence on his best day and whose sentences were laced with so much profanity that the original intent behind any statements was long since lost, dial that guy up to about eleven and you have Michael Morgenstern.
The first part of the video contains clips of the alleged cheating maneuver laced with his commentary, which is basically just a profane tirade about what’s going on with the dealer. After that, he makes two calls to BetOnline and behaves positively ridiculously on both occasions using profanity and directly insulting the individuals who answered the phone and likely have absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Given all of his profanity and his tendency to yell at the first person he was talking to and do...I don’t know what....with the second person, it’s difficult to imagine that either of the individuals had any clue what was going on.
Of course, all of these antics accomplish nothing aside from distracting from the fact that a dealer dealing a Live Blackjack game for BetOnline Casino is being accused of cheating by taking the second card in order to beat the player.
The only explanation I can think of for not treating this matter with the seriousness that it deserves, and making an effort to get any real answers, is that he apparently felt that the, ‘Entertainment Value,’ provided by his two tirade phone calls to BetOnline would so enrapture the viewers that they would continue to follow his YouTube page and sign up for his forum. One is led to conclude that because there are several hundred thousand more hits for the current video that any other previous video that he has done, but we’ll see, maybe he’ll be the next big thing in Blackjack.
Mr. Morgenstern has gone on to say that he has received threats from Central America on his own life and that of his daughter, and furthermore, that he was offered $250,000 to take down the video of the alleged cheating. Mr. Morgenstern made this clear on another video during which he encourages his young daughter to flip off the supposed individuals who made a threat on her life, and then, proceeds to discuss said threats on her life with her sitting on his lap. One quote from the video, again in front of his daughter, “Take the $250,000 and we’re gonna do like this (raises middle fingers in air with daughter) up your f****** a** have a great f****** life, I destroyed online gaming.”
Those are some real parenting skills, dawg, represent gambling parents, that’s how we do!
Or, something like that, I don’t know. I didn’t even try it when I was in High School, and that was over a decade and a half ago.
Mr. Morgenstern’s questionable content and conduct in front of his daughter notwithstanding, it is difficult to believe that he was offered $250,000 to remove a video of what could have been nothing more than a misdeal as well as having his life threatened over same.
Let’s just get back to the video:
What the video pretty clearly shows is either sloppy dealing procedure, or a sloppy attempt to cheat, but no matter how you cut it, it was just sloppy. Regardless of whether or not any deliberate cheating was taking place, it is pretty clear that the dealer’s hand was not in the correct position to do whatever it was he was attempting to do. The dealer makes an upward motion with his left index finger, missing the shoe completely, and then makes another upward motion which pushes up the following card and causes the dealer to slide out the card under it. During the time, the dealer looks distracted by something that is off camera.
I have no definitive opinion as to whether or not an actual deliberate act of cheating took place, but I am somewhat leaning towards, ‘No,’ even though I don’t absolutely rule it out. I say no for the following reasons:
1.) It’s Not a Significant Amount of Money
Unless the dealer had some sort of direct incentive to cheat, the amount of money lost by the player affected by the misdeal seems like it would be insubstantial to BetOnline, which is a major online casino, or to Global Gaming Labs, which is a somewhat major company that provides live dealer services to casinos.
Granted, Global Gaming Labs is no longer the live dealer provider for BetOnline anymore, but it appears that is not actually strictly due to the events in this video. BetOnline has stated that they made the decision in mid-January to switch to a different company, Visionary iGaming, who has been providing the live dealer casino service since February 18th. This live video stream was based on a hand that took place January 25th, which is before Visionary iGaming took over for Global Gaming Labs, but after Global Gaming Labs knew BetOnline was switching to Visionary iGaming.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it makes sense for Global Gaming Labs to give the order to cheat, as they are still going to want to protect their reputation in the online casino industry for any remaining clients they may have as well as to potentially acquire future clients. Even if the dealers were going to cheat regularly, it simply doesn’t seem worth it to risk your company’s entire reputation with those sorts of bet amounts out there. The fact that the player in the video (again, not Mr. Morgenstern) split deuces against a dealer ten kind of tells us that not all players adhere to strict basic strategy and that the casino absolutely does not need to cheat to win in the long run.
2.) The Only Thing the Video Proves is Sloppiness
In my opinion, the video cannot be looked at as absolutely proving any cheating whatsoever, it can only prove that something was done sloppily. If it was the dealer’s goal to cheat, then the dealer attempted to cheat in a sloppy way, if it was the dealer’s goal to deal the game fairly, again, the dealer did that in a sloppy way. Individuals may watch the video and decide for themselves what they think happened, but to me, the only thing that the video proves is that the dealer was sloppy in that moment.
Furthermore, there has been some question as to why the version of the video that is out now has the dealer’s face concealed, and nobody really seems to know why that should be. Speculation ruins amok, of course, with some people believing that Mr. Morgenstern was compelled to conceal the dealer’s face in future videos somehow. Personally, I think his face may have been hidden because it is pretty clear from his facial expressions (in the versions in which his face is not concealed) that he is distracted by something.
For anyone who thinks that he was not distracted by something off camera, what I point to is the fact that the dealer missed the card completely whatever he was trying to do. On his first attempt to touch the card (for whatever he was doing) his index finger completely whiffs.
3.) It Would Be a Really Stupid Thing To Do
Granted, this might not be the world’s soundest argument, but another reason that I think the casino/live gaming provider would not cheat is because it would be a really stupid thing to do (if caught deliberately cheating) that could cost a billion dollar industry untold amounts of potential revenue. The fact of the matter is that anyone who has not been living under a rock for the last several months knows that live gambling streaming feeds on YouTube (and perhaps other sites) has become more and more popular, so video evidence of any cheating (or anything even perceived to be cheating) could potentially be saved forever.
The first thing that happened as a result of this video is that we see the YouTube and message board comments light up with statements like, “This is why I never play online,” or, “This is why it is stupid to play online,” so as we can see, an incident like this of maybe cheating basically has a negative impact on the entire industry of online gambling, potentially. Quite frankly, the industry is capable of making billions in revenue without ever resorting to cheating, so there would be no need to put that at risk when a blatant instance (which this definitely isn’t, it’s a maybe instance) could pull potentially tens or hundreds of thousands in would-be deposits out of the industry from people who would have otherwise gambled online, but are now too scared to do so.
So, What Happened?
The first thing that we want to do is hopefully get a response from the casino, so to that end, Wizard has stated in the forum that he has sent an E-Mail to BetOnline and is waiting for a response. For my part, I am working on getting ahold of Global Gaming Labs to see if I can get some sort of comment on the matter out of them, I will update this article accordingly if I am successful.
Global Gaming Labs handled the live casino for BetOnline as of the time of this incident, but they do not handle it any longer, that has been turned over to Visionary iGaming. It has been reported that BetOnline had already decided to switch over to Visionary (that took effect February 18th) as of the time that the incident in the video occurred.
It has been reported that the aggrieved player (the one who lost the second split hand to the dealer) has been refunded on that hand and paid as though the cards had come out in the proper order. If that player reads this, hopefully he will decide to visit wizardofodds.com and learn a little bit about basic strategy.
We will be following the alleged threats against Mr. Morgenstern and his family closely to see if there are any new developments. Fortunately, he apparently has an army of, “Soldiers,” on his front porch ready to continue to keep it real in case any of these Central Americans want to step, or whatever my verbiage on that should be. It does not appear that he is prepared to accept the $250,000 he was allegedly offered to take down the video as that would be inconsistent with, “Keeping it real.”
I will continue to follow this story closely and will report any updates, I just pray that such updates do not require me to listen to Mr. Morgenstern speak anymore.
Was BetOnline's live dealer cheating at Blackjack? Read about the incident at LatestCasinoBonuses.