Ten Most Famous Casino Heists That Went Down in History

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Although many people believe that banks are the most targeted institutions with money, records shows that there have been some serious attempts to knock-off casinos as well.

Gambling news reports that all sorts of events took place in history, where crooks tried to pull off heists in a number of fashions. From simple and bizarre attempts to really elaborate and though out schemes, thieves have shown a real penchant for casinos. The vast majority of the times, the perpetrators get caught eventually however there were times when some got away.

Rookie Robbers

In the year of 2000, a group of three men consisting of Jose Manuel Vigo, Oscar Sanchez and Luis Suarez tried to rob the prominent Bellagio casino. However, judging by their organization of the heist they were amateurs at the job. In fact, records show that they were so clumsy that all three of them fell down on their faces a number of times in the cashier cages.

Luckily it didn’t take long for the police to find them, considering that the cameras captured Vigoa’s face on record, as he pulled his mask off during the robbery. Later on Vigoa and Suarez were jailed and slapped with hefty penalty fines, while Cisneros committed suicide while awaiting trial.

Employee robs employer

An employee of Desert Diamond Casino in Tuscon, Arizona, knew how some of the operations went down at his casino so he decided to take advantage of it. The employee titled Adam Thomas Vega regularly looked after the slot floor of the gaming institution, granting him access to some lucrative information.

Over a period of two years, he managed to amass a small fortune of $650,000 by using passwords for jackpot tickets that were worth more than $1,000 each. However, in 2008 he saw an end come to his unlawful exploits and admitted to stealing from the very casino that he worked at. Until this day it remains the biggest casino heist by an employee in Arizona.

College Crooks

In the 1970s, two college students that studied at the University of California came up with an ingenious method of conning the casino. They were students of physics, so they appropriately developed a machine that could interfere with the natural flow of Roulette.

The device was supposedly installed in their shoes and would then send out signals that would manipulate the Roulette wheel, giving them an edge when placing bets. However, their little escapade didn’t last very long, as they were caught after couple of months and were charged at court.

California’s Indian Casino

Casinos generally maintain a practice where they hold a significant portion of the money in a vault until they have clearance to transfer all the money to a bank. This fact inspired Roland Luda Ramos to try and pull off a heist in the casino that he worked, the Soboba Casino in California.

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He asked his friend Eric Alan Aguilera to assist him in the job which was reportedly supposed to net them over $1.5 million from the vault. They tied up the workers in the casino and proceeded with their plan. After a days both them were caught and faced jail time. At that time in 2007, it was the biggest heist at an Indian reservation.

Lavish London Casino

The heist that occurred at the Ritz Casino in London remains one of the most bizarre events in casino history. Not solely because of the obscure method that the crooks used, but also the judge’s verdict in the aftermath. A Hungarian lady was accompanied by two Russian men came up with an ambitious plan to rob the fancy British casino.

They aimed lasers at the Roulette tables, which would help them in predicting the correct numbers. The method helped them generate over $1 million in earnings however once the casino complained to the authorities, the judge deemed the actions of the perpetrators completely legal and decided they could keep the money.

”Banker Bandit”

A man named Anthony Carleo managed to score some money from both the Bellagio and Suncoast casinos in Las Vegas while wearing a biker’s helmet. This earned him the title “Biker Bandit.” His Suncoast robbery went to plan with $20,000 in earnings, however the Bellagio attempt led to his arrest.

Online casinos in US estimate that Carleo stole around $1.5 million in chips from the Bellagio, however what he didn’t know is that the chips could be traced as they contained small mechanisms inside them. After trying to sell the chips online, the police eventually got to him.

Lovers’ affair

Betraying your loved one for money does not only appear in films, but does occur in reality as well. In 1993, romantic couple Roberto Solis and Heather Tallchief managed to pull-off a heist at the Circus Circus Casino for a staggering $2.5 million. However, for one of them things went awry pretty soon.

Tallchief was left standing by herself, as her lover Solis decided not to share the spoils of the casino by running away. Tallchief decided to give herself in to the authorities, while Solis was never again heard of.

Mysterious cashier

Once again an employee attempted to rob the very institution he was working for. In 1992, Bill Brennan saw the opportunity to just simply pour all the cash and chips from the Stardust casino in his bag and walk out the main door. It is believed that he stole over $500,000 altogether from the casino

Since he was in the casino’s sportsbook cashier, the security team just simply let him go through the door without knowing what he had just done. Since the heist he has never resurfaced, leading to speculation he was killed by a silent partner.

MIT mathematicians

The popular 2008 film “21” that stars Kevin Spacey is based on a real story. Previously, a small group of students that were considered to be among the best mathematicians at their prominent university, decided to try apply their vast knowledge to earn money from the casinos in Las Vegas.

It is estimated that the ambitious undertaking saw them earn millions of dollars, a fact that send shivers down casinos in Sin City.

Crown heist

Australia is generally not associated with crooks attempting to rob casinos, however the one that occurred in early 2013 makes it the biggest heist on our list. Several perpetrators that are known throughout Australian poker rooms, were involved in scamming the popular Crown Casino out of more than $32 million.

An unnamed man was accused by the casino of hacking the surveillance system with information that he received from the facility’s employee. Crown decided to throw out the perpetrator and ban him form ever entering their casino again.

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