Gambling regulators in Nevada have warned casinos in the state about a card counting programme available on Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch that illegally helps players to beat the house at blackjack.
According to a piece in the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper, card counting itself is not illegal under Nevada gambling laws but it is considered a felony to use devices to help count cards.
The newspaper reported that California authorities tipped off their counterparts in Nevada last week as players can also use the devices to listen to music as they play. It revealed that operators of a northern California aboriginal casino discovered customers using the programme and alerted the California Bureau of Gambling Control, which passed a memo onto its colleagues in Nevada that was subsequently circulated among casinos.
'The programme calculates the true count and does it significantly more accurately,' read the memo.
Randy Sayre, a member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, stated that gamblers using the iPhone card counting programme could be detained by casino operators and arrested by state gaming agents.
'We wanted to put the industry on notice to be aware this device is out there,' said Sayre.
Sayre stated that there haven't yet been any reports of the programme being used in Nevada but that his agency was treating it as an electronic method for cheating.
The programme is allegedly installed through the iTunes website and makes counting cards easier by using four different strategies. It can also operate in a ‘stealth mode’ in which the phone's screen is shut off allowing a player to run the programme without detection as long as they know where the keys are.
'We're looking at this internally and this is an issue that needed to be in the public domain,' said Sayre.