Hacked And Hoisted: More Crooks Target Virginia Gaming Machines

Written By Russ Mitchell on February 16, 2023 - Last Updated on August 1, 2023
Gaming Machines Stolen

The new Virginia casinos will have state-of-the-art security as they open the door for customers — and it’s a good thing. Virginia’s less-regulated gaming machines have been hoisted and hacked a lot lately.

Police made arrests in Fairfax County after 7-Eleven clerks called in a string of gaming machine thefts between Dec. 29 and Jan. 24. Evidence suggests two Maryland men would either pry open the gaming machines on the spot or load them onto a truck and leave the scene.

Now, Norfolk police need help to identify a pair of men who broke into businesses after hours and stole gaming machines. The thefts occurred on three straight nights in the city.

  • 2:25 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6 — The Willoughby Inn located at 1534 W Ocean View Avenue
  • 5:15 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7 — The East Beach Bar and Grill located at 3501 E. Ocean View Avenue
  • Around 4:40 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8Airport Quick Mart located at 2504 E. Little Creek Road

Norfolk Police posted surveillance camera images on their website as well.

Anyone who recognizes the burglars or vehicles should call the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. Submit a tip using the P3Tips mobile app.

Virginia Gaming Machines: Cybercrime Unit

Why use a crowbar when a computer chip will do?

Chesapeake Police aren’t telling local reporters much about Virginia gaming machines that were hacked over the weekend. Hampton Roads station WTKR heard about a hack over the police scanner on Sunday night, Feb. 11. Dispatchers said two men were “using a device” to “continuously make them win.”

The Chesapeake cheat code team apparently tapped an algorithm to the tune of more than $800.

WTKR asked, but a police spokesperson wouldn’t describe the Super Bowl Sunday gadget grab in any more detail.

Hackers won’t have as much luck to the north, where Rivers Casino Portsmouth just opened. The 24/7 casino has plenty of security, including a City of Portsmouth police substation.

Machines have been a Virginia grey area

Virginia customers might see games like “Fishy Loot,” “Lucky Fruit” and “Living Large” in convenience stores, bars and restaurants. The skill game cabinets look a lot like video slot machines. But, gaming companies insist players win by skill — not by chance.

The gaming machines created their share of lawsuits. Virginia legislators want to regulate the recent crime targets as well.

The state allowed retailers to keep machines as a revenue source during the pandemic. Now, they want them regulated or removed.

Photo by Shutterstock Image
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell covered news and sports in Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most decorated community newspapers in the state. He joined PlayIA as a lead writer and managing editor in 2021. He anxious to explore the growing Virginia gaming industry.

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