BoingBoing has a post this morning about an online casino publishing MD5 hashes of their virtual decks of cards to prove that when a “deck” is generated at the beginning of a game, it does not change throughout the course of the game. That brings up a larger question that I have never figured out, which is why anyone trusts online casinos at all. There are many ways for online casinos to cheat, and very few mechanisms for detecting the cheating or getting your money back if you are defrauded. Are people just that desperate to gamble?

If a casino did a lot of business, they wouldn’t even have to cheat very much to greatly increase their profits. Obviously you could force your customers to lose every time, but they’d leave in droves. On the other hand, you could lower the chances of the customer winning by a percentage point and most people wouldn’t even notice. The casino’s owners would, though, because suddenly they’d be making a lot more money.

What am I missing?