Tommy Glenn Carmichael

When it comes to the who’s who of casino gamblers, Tommy Glen Carmichael is at the top. An online biography about Carmichael states that although this famed gambler has been convicted for slot cheating, he is a known expert when it comes to the gaming industry. Carmichael, 65, hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma and is considered a sort of Robin Hood character because he’s exposed double-dealing when it comes to professional gaming.

Another aspect of Carmichael’s checkered life is his self-described occupation as an “inventor.” According to interviews with this so-called “con-man,” there is cheating happening on both sides of the aisle when it comes to slot machines and other legal casino styled games. Because Carmichael has a felony conviction for the illegal sale of methamphetamine, the Nevada Gaming Control Bureau’s website dubs him a “criminal.”

Carmichael is nobody’s fool

While there’s a long-held view online about “who are we to judge,” there is hard data about this famed slot machine bandit breaking the rules at casinos in both Nevada and New Jersey. Still, there is a view from Carmichael that the casino bosses and the Feds have not told the complete story about this colorful gambler. For instance, there’s word from the entertainment industry that Carmichael may be profiled on film; based on a movie script about his life now in pre-production. Consider the fact that Hollywood loves to feature so-called bad guys in feature films that often reflect the public’s angst when it comes to those in power. The film is tentatively titled “The Mechanic,” based on a nick-name given to Carmichael by Nevada’s gaming bureau.

At the same time, there are numerous Associated Press news stories online about the search for slot machine “mechanics” in Las Vegas and Atlantic City who cheat the casinos out of millions each year. The AP reports often mention Carmichael as a known slot machine cheater, but rarely offer this man’s side of the story? There are even online comments from slot fans who call Carmichael an example of losers frustrated with losing at slots and other casino games. They would like Carmichael to explain himself, so as to clear the air on who’s cheating who?

Nevada gaming also profiles “The Mechanic”

According to the authorities who oversee legal gaming in Nevada, Tommy Glenn Carmichael earned the titled “The Mechanic” after he “invented, refined and then manufactured devices for cheating slot machines.” While slot machines have always been dubbed as “One Armed Bandits,” there is a double-standard in the legalized casino gaming industry that states only the house has a right to entice those who are prone to high addictive gambling. In turn, there have always been men and women like Carmichael trying to “even the odds” in casinos by attempting to out-smart slots and other gaming devices.

Again, this is not to judge the gaming industry or Carmichael, but simply to share different points of view about whose wearing the black hat when people lose money.

Carmichael’s tricks of the trade

The Nevada Gaming Control Bureau’s online website profile about “The Mechanic,” states that Carmichael created “coins on strings” to light slot machine light wands that literally blinded the machine’s sensors; thus fooling the slot machine into dropping coins when the machine did not register a win. The bureau’s website goes on to explain how Carmichael and partners did this con for more than 20 years; while “ranking in millions of illegal dollars.”

While there are Robin Hood stories in Las Vegas and Atlantic City about Carmichael “robbing from the rich, and giving to the poor,” it seems more Hollywood than fact when reviewing local newspaper interviews with gamblers who said Carmichael “shared his winnings with them.” While it’s nice to think as Carmichael as an advocate for others, rather than just being self-serving, the jury is still out on exactly what this man really did as a so-called “slot cheater.” For example, Carmichael has always denied his slot machine cheating charges, and insisted that he’s a “scape-goat” for organized crime doing the actual fleecing of casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Overall, it seems to those who have followed Carmichael’s colorful career as a slot machine cheater, are confused when it comes to various Associated Press stories that have painted the man as both local hero and slot cheating mastermind.