Apptastrophy | iPod Touch and iPhone Apps Good or Evil

As any iPod Touch user knows, the application store is one of the coolest features that Apple has come up with. But it seems that some of the freedom that comes with it might be causing some problems. The Gaming Control Board has posted on its site a warning that was sent to Las Vegas casinos on February 5th, regarding an App for Blackjack card counting. The application allows you to count cards in a few different ways, and it works better than any single mind could manage. Here is the description of the app that was posted on the Gaming Control Board website:

“This Blackjack Card Counting program can be utilized on either the Apple I-Phone or the Apple IPod touch (portable music player). Once this program is installed on the phone through the I-tunes website it can make counting cards easy. The program calculates the “True Count” and does it significantly more accurately. The card counting program uses a choice of four (4) card counting strategies. For each strategy the user presses the button that contains the face cards as they are drawn from the deck. Depending on the strategy and on the value of the card the button will either add or subtract 1 or 2 from the “Running Count.” The program can utilize the following card counting methods including Hi-Low, Hi-Op I, Hi-Op II, and Omega II. This program can be used in the “Stealth Mode.” When the program is used in the “Stealth Mode” the screen of the phone will remain shut off, and as long as the user knows where the keys are located the program can be run effortlessly without detection.”

Another reason this is such a big deal is because of the laws in Nevada about gambling. The end of the letter states:

“Just as a reminder, use of this type of program or possession of a device with this type of program on it (with the intent to use it), in a licensed gaming establishment, is a violation of NRS 465.075.”

That’s a felony over there, which means using the card counter will only win you one thing: An all expenses paid trip to the State Prison.

This ordeal brings up a few interesting thoughts. How well are the Apps managed by Apple? Since the card counter app is accessory to crime, should it have even been passed as an App? I suppose there’s both good and bad to being able to find anything from iPity (a Mr. T app) to Card Counting in the app store.

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