Ouster of CG Technology's Amaitis leaves questions

July 26, 2016 3:09 AM
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The forced departure of CG Technology boss Lee Amaitis and $1.5 million fine levied by the Gaming Control Board produced an explosion of interest at other companies where software development is important.

The settlement agreement says CGT admitted its computerized bookmaking system “under certain circumstances miscalculated winning single and round robin parlay wagers,” which resulted in an unknown number of winning wagers that were underpaid.

The company also admitted it “failed to timely notify patrons of those miscalculated winning wagers.”

CG Technology – the former Cantor Gaming – denies it failed to cooperate with the Board’s investigation, “but admits there is sufficient basis contained in the allegations to warrant settlement…”

Multiple sources familiar with the issues in this case say the problem was a software bug that was missed by both the Board’s lab technicians and the company’s own experts.

It came to attention, I’m told, as savvy bettors realized they were being under-paid in some cases

“Since when does a CEO get forced out because of a software glitch he did not know about until the you-know-what hit the fan?”

That was the reaction of an industry veteran familiar with viewpoints on both the regulatory and industry sides of this issue. He and others were willing to discuss the situation but only with the promise of confidentiality since no one wants to offend the Board and its staff.

Technology supposedly gets a thorough testing before it goes on a casino floor anywhere but in the case of CGT and its computerized bookmaking system something was missed somewhere by possibly several somebodies.

But let’s not stop here. My friend the “industry veteran” was not through firing off what he saw as rhetorical questions, thinking out loud.

“Nevada is going to bring the development of new games and technology to a screeching halt if CEOs have to worry about keeping their job because a lab full of experts looking for problems could not spot a problem… Did you ever buy a new phone or computer that did not require an update or a patch to something in the software? …Maybe the wrong person got fired.”

Or perhaps, as another veteran speculated, the Board decided Amaitis was a bit too casual about his approach to oversight from the top. This is at least the second major fine to be levied against the company that operates seven sportsbooks along the Las Vegas Strip corridor.

The issue will probably generate some discussion when the Gaming Commission considers the Control Board action against CG Technology.

It’s possible former Control Board chairman Mark Lipparelli will have a chance to step in at CGT on an interim or permanent basis. He has been a consultant at the company since last year and is well qualified to discuss technology while weighing industry and regulatory needs. But that is speculation since he was not available for comment.