RENO — The government's star witness in the trial of an alleged gang of slot machine cheaters told a federal court jury Thursday how he used keys, drills, wires and magnets to ring up phony jackpots.
Ross Durham, 28, a Las Vegas native, testified that he went to a gambling school to learn about slot machines. He also obtained a machine and practiced on it for days at a time to devise ways to rig it, aided by the manufacturer's technical manuals that came with it.
Reviewing evidence seized in a search of defendant William Cushing's Sacramento home, Durham said the gang used keys marked with casino names, locks stolen from a casino, a magnet allegedly used to disrupt computer circuitry in slots, and diagrams of slot machines.
Durham's testimony came at the U.S. District Court trial of eight people suspected of bilking Nevada and New Jersey casinos out of jackpots by rigging slot machines.