Tommy Glenn Carmichael: One of History’s Biggest Casino Cheats

Tommy Glenn Carmichael: One of History's Biggest Casino CheatsImage by on Freepik

Tommy Glenn Carmichael probably spent 40 years using slot machine manipulation to defraud Las Vegas casinos. Having begun out in the tv repair industry, he found it simple to manipulate slot machine mechanics.

Tommy managed to develop a variety of sophisticated cheating tools that would guarantee him immediate victories.

Tommy had to consciously change his methods as time and technology changed to account for those changes. He even worked with other cheats to form a group of fraudsters that cost Las Vegas casinos huge amounts of money in losses.

Naturally, Tommy’s luck ran out, and he received a prison term for his crimes. Carmichael discussed how his stint in jail affected his life in an interview with USA Today.

How It All Began

Tommy Glenn Carmichael was born in the 1950s when technology was developing swiftly. Even as a young child, Tommy was intrigued by the hows and whys of technology, which is possibly why he decided to open a television supply and repair shop in the 1980s.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, he had a store called “Ace TV Sales and Service.” Since Tommy’s company was truly revolutionary in Tulsa, it was an immediate success. However, as more businesses of the same type appeared, Tommy soon realized that he was losing too much money to survive.

His third divorce was about to be finalized since his business was going out of business. In addition, Tommy was doing community service hours for prior narcotics possession violations. He could see his life crumbling in front of him, but he was committed to putting things right.

Ray Ming, a friend from high school, arrived to turn the situation around.

He was 100 percent right. The trunk had a small slot machine and a top-bottom joint, a common cheating device.

To better comprehend how to use the top-bottom joint to his advantage, Carmichael dismantled the slot machine and started learning its mechanics. After several hours of practice, Tommy was finally prepared to put his new strategies to the test in a Las Vegas casino.

Tommy decided to utilize this strategy for the first time on one of the nickel machines and won $35 in a short period. Later, he switched to other devices in several Las Vegas casinos, where he eventually won about $10,000 in a single weekend.

Being caught for the first time

Over the following few years, Tommy Glenn Carmichael amassed thousands of dollars from casinos on the Las Vegas Strip using similar strategies. Casinos started to update their equipment with the most latest technology as they grew more aware of cheaters’ devices like Tommy’s. Now, slot machines used RNGs or random number generators.

Tommy was compelled to spend more time at less upscale casinos since they could not afford to use this advanced technology, but it also made it much simpler for him to be discovered. Unbeknownst to Tommy, the police had been following him for almost a week and were well aware of his cunning.

Tommy attempted to maintain his innocence, but the top-bottom joint was found in his coat pocket.

Because Tommy Glenn Carmichael was still under probation for narcotics possession, he was given a five-year prison term. In prison, Tommy met Michael Balsamo, who was also serving time for the same offenses.

In their spare time, they planned how they could cooperate to overthrow the casinos after they were let go. When that day finally came, the two men, however, discovered that further advancements in slot machine technology had rendered their earlier plans outdated.