Jena Choctaw Pines Casino dealing with computer system compromise

GRANT PARISH, La. (KALB) - A computer system compromise at Jena Choctaw Pines Casino has shut down some gaming machines, causing them to revamp their operating system.

Last week, they noticed issues with communications between the gaming machines on the floor and the servers. The casino said they noticed the problem when people were trying to check their rewards points or get cash out. When engineers looked into the problem they found the communication link was broken, which caused around 300 of their 710 gaming machines currently being shut down.

"It's one of those things where you are in shock and don't believe this is happening," said Keith Young, Director of Marketing for Jena Choctaw Pines Casino.

Engineers are currently on-site. The Grant Parish casino has also been in contact with regulatory agencies like the National Indian Gaming Commission to solve the problem.

Right now, the cause of the compromise is unknown.

"I would love to be able to say yes this is exactly what happened because we would know exactly what to do to go and fix it," said Keith Young, Director of Marketing for Jena Choctaw Pines Casino. "Unfortunately we still don't have that data. Once we get that and can now attack it and frankly that's why we are building it from the ground up because whatever it was we are going to make sure it doesn't exist anymore."

Young said the plan is to not only fix it but completely redo and revamp their system to prevent further compromises.

In the meantime, the casino said they will have to give out cash winnings by hand. Young also said so far it hasn't impacted any of the rewards points system. Young said they will eventually have to shut the whole floor down for about two to four hours to revamp the system. However, they say they don't know when that will happen and the timeline for repairs is indefinite at this point. But they are staying optimistic that the points system will be intact.

"To our knowledge no one has (lost their points) and it's our sincere hope it doesn't," said Young. "Once it's said and done we have agencies that we will work with to go through the stem and say yea we think all the player data is there and the player points are there. The information when they put their cards in are there and I think we are good to go, or not. Then we'll devise some systems to atleast make people happy about the fact that at least they did this for us."

Young said they had a "small" compromise in their system about four years ago, but "this is the longest we've been down."

The casino also frequently updates customers with the latest on the investigation on their Facebook page.

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