Glitch in System Exploited

Publish: 15.08.2018

The Back to the Future gambling scam earned him over 40,000 pounds, but the bookie’s worker who facilitated this high-end robbery is now facing jail. Gavin Thomson, the perpetrator of the crime, found a glitch in the computer systems of Coral which he exploited to place bets after the events were finished. This gave him an edge over others, helping him win big in the process by cheating the system.

Thomson would give his punters and friends cash to go to Coral’s branches located in Forfar and Dundee and ask them to put coupons on sporting events that he already knew the results to. This helped him in winning every time he placed a bet. The fraud is taken from the plot of the science fiction classic movie known as Back to the Future II in which a character named Biff Tannen collects results of sporting events and travels back in time to help himself become rich by placing bets on the same events.

Thomson confessed to his crimes which earned him 40,300 pounds from the fraud in the less than three months. According to fiscal depute Saima Rasheed, Thomson was working as a manager’s assistant at the Forfar and Dundee Coral branches when he realized that there was a glitch in the systems and carried out the scam. She said that he learned of the flaw in the summer of 2015 which allowed customers to place late bets on different sporting events, even after they were finished.

Dundee Sheriff Court also heard that he was making over 1000 pounds in each shift by running his con game. Rasheed also noted that Thomson would ask some of his friends and customers to place bets in the Dundee and Forfar stores for him. They would be paid some stake money in lieu of their services.

In January 2016, a regional risk assessor with Coral conducted an audit of the system’s payouts at the Forfar branch when the fraud was revealed. The auditor discovered that there was a problem with the computer system which allowed the customers to place bets on sporting events retrospectively. They had to change the sports type when they input the bet on the system. Once done, the fraud could be conducted, winning thousands of dollars.

The auditor found 64 bets placed in the Forfar store that had been placed retrospectively and processed for wins. The branch suffered a total loss of 17,500 pounds. At the Dundee branch, Thomson had placed 55 bets which totaled to a loss of 22,800 pounds. Thomson was suspended by Coral in January, following the investigation.