up may not be perceptible to the human eye, but it is enough to throw off any idealized mathematical model.
Farmer and Packard's team did an excellent job of interpreting the problem and programming it into their custom computer, but there were logistical problems; difficulty concealing the computer and its power supply, loose wires, bad connections, shocks, clamping solenoids, drifting signals, etc. Building such a device involved extensive knowledge of physics, mathematics, electronics, computer science and information theory. Even after a year and a half of totally redesigning and miniaturizing their system with the latest technology available, they were overcome by unexpected computer crashes and electronic noise.This noise came from surveillance systems and low-frequency radiation, given off by neon signs and slot machines. These all contributed spurious signals to the receiver. The casinos are a swamp of electronic noise!
Just as our team of physicists was contemplating their next go-around in 1985, the Governor of Nevada signed into law, Senate Bill 467. The pertinent statute in Nevada states: �It is unlawful for any person at a licensed gaming establishment to use, or possess with the intent to use, any device to assist in projecting the outcome of the game.� The statute goes on to say that a first-time offender may be imprisoned for a period of 1 to 10 years, or be fined up to $10,000, or both. A second offense is mandatory imprisonment. In other words, if you�re caught with a computer in the casino, even if you did not yet use it, you may be hit with jail time and/or stiff fines! This is too big a gamble in my book! New Jersey has a similar statute regarding the use of electronic, electrical and mechanical devices: �Except as specifically permitted by the commission, no person shall possess with the intent to use, or actually use, at any table game, either by himself or in concert with others, any calculator, computer, or other electronic, electrical or mechanical device to assist in projecting an outcome at any table game or in keeping track of or analyzing the cards having been dealt, the changing probabilities of any roulette table game, or the playing strategies to be utilized�.
Although the casinos have always had the home court advantage, that hasn�t stopped the near-do-wells from attempting to cheat the house. In the past, panels of one-way glass were installed in the ceilings over the casino floor. Surveillance people, often referred to as, �the eye in the sky,� would tread back and forth on narrow catwalks while looking down at the games. With binoculars in hand, they monitored both the players and the dealers for any signs of cheating. They maneuvered through spider webs and around posts and rafters in the dark. Today's modern casinos are outfitted with hundreds of cameras that can rotate, pivot and zoom in on a pinhead. These cameras are housed in those half-spherical bubbles that you see, mounted from the ceiling. They send video signals that are fed into dozens of monitors with videotapes rolling. Not all of the cameras� signals can be shown on a monitor at all times. Just because the camera is on doesn�t mean that someone is watching it. The video can later be reviewed, but the cheat or thief may be long gone. The surveillance crew must switch back and forth between cameras, focusing more on the busy-betting areas and the cashiers� cages. If the pit is suspicious of a cheat or if a high roller steps into the game, the boss will call up to surveillance to make sure they are watching the action at that table.
Eventually, the whole system will be computerized. A network of several hundred tiny digital cameras will be mounted throughout the casino. As these cameras sense movement, they will begin processing a digital signal to a computer. Surveillance software will interpret any actions it senses and the most questionable of those will appear on one of several main monitors where a small surveillance crew will be stationed. Because the footage is digital and fully indexed, it can be immediately accessed and cross-referenced with other footage taken, even if it happened six months earlier. There would be no archived tapes to search through, no hours and hours of rewinding and playing of videotapes. Everything will be stored in one central database.