Russia’s 2009 crackdown on casino gambling was apparently the spark that lit a global slots scam that continues to this day.

Last summer, Singapore authorities reported disrupting an international gang of casino cheats that was using smartphone technology to predict big slots payouts in advance.

Little else was known about the scam until a lengthy exposé was reported in Wired this week.

Wired traced the origin of the scam to Russia’s 2009 decision to restrict casinos to a handful of geographically isolated regions.

Russian gaming halls were left with little option but to sell off their stock of slot machines for whatever price they could get.

Some of these slots ended up in the hands of a gang of St.

Petersburg programmers, who reverse engineered the machines’ software to identify their pseudorandom number generators (PRNG) and the internal clock data that identifies the current stage of a PRNG’s output.