Tommy Glenn Carmichael

Tommy Glenn Carmichael sent shockwaves through the slot machine industry, making them all take note and pay attention to him. To some, he may even be considered the biggest slot machine cheater of all time. It all began in 1980, when Carmichael ran into an old friend at a repair shop that he ran. The friend, Ray Ming, asked Carmichael if he would take a look at a slot machine he had in his trunk, which was equipped with a top-bottom joint.

It wasn't long before Carmichael used his knowledge to help rig a five cent machine that was near the Vegas strip, allowing him to walk away with about $35. That casino eventually switched out their machines, and Carmichael moved his machine to a smaller casino, but was eventually caught and sentenced to 5 years in prison

During his jail time, Carmichael became friends with Mike Balsamo. They worked together to discuss how to continue the business, but were treated to a rude awakening when they were released in 1987. The machines Carmichael once knew were replaced with video slot machines that used microprocessors to create random numbers. Carmichael was not phased by the change in technology and purchased one of these machines for himself.

After careful examination, Carmichael invented a device called the monkey paw, which was essentially a sliding tool that was created with guitar strings and wire. This slider would press a switch in the machine that would make it dispense coins at a quick rate.

In 1991, the slot machines advanced once more, making Carmichael's slider useless. The man continued on, however, tricking a slot machine company into thinking that he was purchasing machines for a casino. Carmichael was then given a tour of the machine, giving him the insight he needed to create another tool to trick the slots. The magic wand was constructed, and it allowed a person to shine a light at a sensor that tricked the machine into dispensing more coins.

Carmichael was eventually caught and charged at several casinos before he ultimately was caught conversing with other illegal gamblers during a phone tap. Carmichael was then sentenced to 326 days along with 3 years of probation. He was also kicked out of every casino and put on Nevada's black list.

Carmichael Today

It seems as if things have changed for Carmichael, because he works on a device that will prevent cheating on these machines now. This anti-cheating device, simply called the Protector, is said to be able to block any cheating device. Regardless of how this device works, there is no doubt that Carmichael left a lasting impact on casino slot machines and the industry as a whole.