Card Dealer Evolution Cheated out of $47K in Blackjack

An American live dealer of Evolution has been guilty of systematic game manipulation during live blackjack. By betting on the outcomes of the game he is believed to have won at least $ 47,000 in bets. The real money bets were placed at the American sportsbook and betting website DraftKings. 

The 23-year-old ex-Evolution employee, who worked at the live software company as a card shuffler, is said to remember the order of a stack of sequential cards whilst shuffling the cards and using this to bet himself. He would also stab the cards, so that he had an extra advantage. The bets were made at the same time he was hosting the game.

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Pattern of “Excessively High Bets”

He would then place bets on three different DraftKings accounts. According to local police, these accounts showed a pattern of “excessively high bets” when the suspected man was leading the games. Records indicated that the flagged DraftKings account was accessed through the same device Echevarri used to log into Evolution’s employee portals used for in-house information such as his work schedule or time sheets.

Evolution believes the ex-employee manipulated at least 26 different blackjack sessions. The live provider was first notified of suspicious gambling activity by the Department of Consumer Protection in July 2022. Internal documents and CCTV footage were analysed after which the Department concluded that the dealer was committing fraud. At least $47,000 (NZ$ 74,661) was earned from the manipulation, NBC Connecticut reported. It has not been revealed whether players suffered financial losses because of the manipulation. Evolution was not willing to comment on the case to local American media.

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Live Dealer Released on Bail

Sebastian Echeverri, 23, is reported to have already confessed to the local police that he manipulated the course of the game to his own benefit. He also indicated that he used the three separate DraftKings accounts to bet on the live blackjack sessions where he shuffled the cards. The public prosecutor has charged the young man with theft and fraud. The trial will take place in Bridgeport Superior Court on 20 April 2023. Norwalk resident Echeverri turned himself in to state police Troop G in Bridgeport and was charged with first-degree larceny and cheating. Echeverri was released after paying a $50,000 (NZ$ 79,370) bond, and is scheduled to be arraigned in Bridgeport Superior Court on 20 April 2023.

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About Evolution

Evolution is a live casino software provider from Sweden that would be the first game maker to come up with the concept of live casino games. By streaming live from casino studios, live dealers handled the game instead of computer-controlled systems. Evolution’s range of games includes live versions of table games such as blackjack and roulette, as well as live game shows. Evolution operated its game worldwide and has studios in Europe and North America. It also has an office in Malta. The games of Evolution are licenced by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), two of the most reputed gaming authorities in the world.

Evolution has an extensive portfolio of live games and is known for recent live games such as Dead or Alive Saloon, Football Studio Dice, Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt Live, and Monopoly Big Baller Live. The next scheduled live dealer game from Evolution is Extra Chilli Epic Spins. This game brings the Big Time Gaming pokie Extra Chili to a live dealer setting and is expected to be released on April 10. Extra Chilli Epic Spins comes with a max payout of 20,000x the bet and will be available at online casinos that can be joined by Kiwis.

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Live Dealer Games Not More Fraudulent

Live dealer games are not more vulnerable to fraudulent behaviour than the same games in land based casino settings. It is the first time that a live dealer of Evolution is reported to have defrauded the game. The games by Evolution are known to be safe and live dealers are well trained. Individual cases such as this case in Connecticut are rare. Evolution has terminated the employment contract of the live dealer and is expected to come up with an internal investigation. It has not been revealed which blackjack variants were affected by the misconduct. The studio in Connecticut features different games of live dealer roulette and live dealer blackjack. From the studio Evolution provides live dealer games on both the FanDuel and DraftKings iCasino platforms.

This case in the United States could possibly lead to stricter internal auditing and measures amongst employees that work for Evolution. The software provider houses multiple live dealer studios in the US, Malta, Latvia, and Canada, amongst others. Some of the studios are brought to players from land based gambling venues. In recent years, Evolution has largely focused on its expansion into North-America with Canada and different US states being important new jurisdictions that have regulated online gambling. Online casinos are not yet legalised in New Zealand, but offshore casinos can be visited. Players are expected to be at least 18 years old to be allowed access to online casinos.

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