5 Card Cash Permanently Suspended Amid Cheating Concerns - NBC Connecticut

5 Card Cash Permanently Suspended Amid Cheating Concerns

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016)

    The Connecticut Lottery's 5 Card Cash game has been permanently suspended amid concerns of cheating.

    The Connecticut Lottery halted the sales and payouts for its 5 Card Cash game in November 2015 after it learned some retailers might have been cheating the system.

    But nearly one year later, there are no plans to bring back the Lottery's controversial 5 Card Cash game.

    Frank Farricker, the acting president and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery, said they did a full internal and independent accounting of what happened, and reported those findings to the Department of Consumer Protection late last week.

    "We completely regret that there were any problems with any of our games. We strive for the highest level of integrity at the lottery," stated Farricker.

    According to a letter from the CT Lottery to lottery regulator DCP, eight days before the 5 Card Cash game was suspended last November, Farricker cited a key break in the case.

    “The inspector from DCP interviewed the clerk who informed him that the stack of tickets and I quote were ‘winning tickets’ which leads to the question, how would this person know stack was winning tickets?"

    According to the letter, a retailer first raised security concerns for potential cheating back in January 2015. Concerns were raised again over the following summer and last October, when it was realized 5 Card Cash payouts over the last quarter were "unusually high".

    A total of nine people were arrested on accusations they took advantage of manipulating their system to give themselves winning tickets.

    Farricker added, “Some retailers found there was a way to take three particular steps to essentially find out there was a 5 Card Cash winner and then they had the ability to slow the system down and avoid losing tickets.”

    Farricker said he doesn’t believe any lottery employees dropped the ball.

    “I think all of our employees at the lottery work diligently to make sure things are done properly,” he said.

    Lottery player Joseph LaBella told NBC Connecticut, "I'm not surprised about it, because it happens all the time. So you need somebody to have more control, once in a while. It's good to review the situation.”

    "I had a lot of customers who used to play," Fakruh Islam, who owns a Valero gas station in Rocky Hill, told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

    Islam said a few customers even got mad at him when the game disappeared altogether.

    “The lottery should've been more communicating with us, in the future, more protection,” explained Islam.

    "We're looking at our systems, investing in important upgrades to have most modern up to date defensible systems, engaging in security,” Farricker added.

    Farricker also defended the resignation of his predecessor Ann Noble, who the agency kept on for a $25,000-per-month consulting gig.

    Farricker said they need Noble's expertise and experience to transition.

    The revenue for the state’s general fund, provided by the Connecticut Lottery was in excess of $330 million dollars last year.