Slots Hack: Meet the Russian Who Made $250,000 a Week Hacking Slots
Russia's Alex started his 'career' modifying slots to help casinos cheat on players. Then, he realised he could make a lot more by working solo. Now, he wants out.
Alex is a mathematical mastermind from Russia who has made a fortune hacking slot machines around the world.
Now, nearly 10 years into his career of crime, he has decided to go straight – but pursuing a legal career in the gambling market has proven to be a difficult venture thus far.
Recently, Alex sat down with Wired editor Brendan Koerner to discuss his plans to work with casinos rather than against them.
Alex’s career in gambling mathematics started over a decade ago, when he was hired by a Russian casino to learn how to tweak Novomatic slot machines so that they offered a lower payout percentage than usual.
It all started when a casino hired him to hack Novomatic slots against the players.
Whereas these games normally pay out over 90%, it was Alex’s job to bring it down to 50%.
After leaving that post, he spent six months studying the mathematics behind slot machines.
"I mastered it to the point where I can develop such algorithms myself, on a level I am yet to see in a gambling machine," Alex told Wired.
"It’s in my bloodstream now. I feel the numbers; I know how they move."
In the years that followed, Alex enlisted in a team of colleagues from around the world to rake in over $250,000 per week by figuring out exactly when slot machines were due to pay out large sums.
However, he eventually realised that this lifestyle would not be viable in the long term, and has turned to gaming machine manufacturer Aristocrat to attempt to enter the gambling market legally.
Alex has been in touch with Tracey Elkerton, Aristocrat’s Head of Regulatory and Product Compliance, hoping to convince her that he should join her team.
While the offer of sharing his secrets to help Aristocrat safeguard their machines, Elkerton could not be convinced to work with Alex.
Determined to make it onto the straight and narrow, Alex won’t stop until he can work with a games manufacturer.
He has set his sights on another company, possibly IGT, and hopes for a better result.