10 Clever Casino Scams In Recent History
In general, as long as casino games exist, there will always be someone that will find ways to beat them. Most individuals have sought out guaranteed ways to win without actually breaking the rules, but most attempts are just simply one big scam. Some of these scammers have gone great lengths to devise complicated cheats. With this in mind, here are the top ten clever casino scams in recent history.
New York Roulette Ring
Back in 2012, casinos in Ohio were invaded by a New York crime ring which was involved in a roulette scam. According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the group comprised of roughly 50-70 people who scoured the country, ripping off the United States Casinos. Firstly, in this scam, the players entered the game with low bets sometimes as low as $1 per chip. Secondly, they secretly pocketed certain colored chips while another player distracted the dealer then, the first player would excuse himself from the table and secretly passed the chips to another member of the gang. Next, that second member will then hit another table and assigned a higher value to that chip’s color, and lastly cash out at the new rate.
However, they were discovered after pulling the scheme in four different Ohio cities. Four men were arrested and pled guilty, but it was believed that more were involved and had fled before the officials arrived. Afterward, the commissioner on the case estimated that the group was able to pick up $1,000-$2,000 per scam during their Ohio rounds, but it’s impossible to tell how much they earned as a group over the years. Besides, no one knows for sure how many scammers are still at large or if they’re actively hustling.
The Roselli Brothers
From the year 1995 to 2000, a couple of scam artists who called themselves “the Roselli Brothers” were able to obtain a large amount over $37 million from casinos in New Jersey, Nevada, and Puerto Rico without even spending a single penny and it was through identity theft and unbelievable persistence.
To pull off the grand scheme, they hired a computer hacker to pull data from the credit systems and find people with excellent credit. Then, accounts were activated in those names, the Roselli brothers put $50,000 of their own money into them, and they received credit lines with all major casinos within the next six months.
They continued this scam for five years because of offset betting procedures and perfectly timed gambling schedules. That way, they can make the gaming officials believe they were losing money while their associates won big on the opposite side. Later on, they then paid all outstanding markers, and their casino credit lines were increased to upward of a million dollars.
Eventually, over New Year’s weekend in 2000, they exited the casino cheating game permanently with a huge blowout in Las Vegas. They ran through their scheme at many casinos in one night, with their bets as high as $10,000 per hand-before collecting their winnings and disappearing forever. It took six additional months for the FBI to work out that the scam had even happened. By then it was too late, as they discovered the real Roselli brothers had died many years previously. In the end, the true identity of the scammers is still unknown.
60-second ATM scam
Not all casino scams happen at the betting tables. Sometimes, you only need a debit card to steal thousands of dollars from the biggest casinos in the world.
In 2012, 14 schemers were charged with the theft of over $1 million from Citibank using casino kiosks in California and Nevada. Moreover, the scam involved exploiting a gap in the kiosk security that allowed multiple unrecorded withdrawal within a 60-second opportunity window
For instance, the ringleader, Ara Keshishyan, picked a team to open multiple checking accounts from Citibank. The group would go to casinos all over Southern California and Las Vegas, they then use their Citibank cash advance kiosks to withdraw up to ten times the amount of cash deposited into the accounts using a one-minute security gap. Afterward, they were careful to store their deposits and withdrawals under $10,000 so federal agents remained cornered.
Once the cash was collected at the cages, Ara would take a substantial cut from his co-conspirators, the remainder would be split to gamble among the team. Furthermore, they were used for rooms, food, drink, and entertainment during their scheming besides they never had to pay for a single thing.
In the end, all this scheming did not pay off. Ara was seized and charged with 14 cases of bank fraud. If sentenced, he could receive 30 years in prison and up to $1 million fine per count. Besides, his conspirator each face up to five years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
French Cigarette Pack scam
In the summer of 1973, one amongst the best roulette fraud took place at the Casino Deauville in France, it was associated with a radio amateur (who was also a casino roulette dealer), his brother-in-law, and also his beautiful sister.
First, the dealer created a radio transmitter that fits perfectly into a pack of cigarettes. He also turned a weightless receiver into a ball which he used at his table. The next step, his brother-in-law posed as the unknowing player placing bets while the sister served as the “button pusher” holding the cigarette pack. Once she pressed the transmitter’s button, the ball would descend from its spin and land in groups of six possible numbers with a powerful 90% accuracy. She always stood one table over to stay unsuspicious to officials on the floor.
Later on, in just one week, the trio scored 5 million franks, which at that time was roughly USD 1million. Casino officials caught wind of what was happening and have become suspicious. So, they investigated every possibility from a defective wheel to the (accurate), assumption that the dealer was corrupt. They spent weeks with experts but couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.
However, the scammers’ downfall came shortly after the casino owner took a romantic interest in the sister. As a result, he made a move on her and was quickly turned down. Soon, he began to notice her presence in a different light. He made the connection that she was always within the casino whenever the identical person at the identical roulette table consistently won large amounts of money. Later on, he put these clues together, believed radio interference was to blame and had a debugging team sweep the floor. In the end, the team was caught and arrested.
The Cutter Gang
The “Cutter Gang” cheated their scheme to millions at the baccarat table in 2011. They were able to beat the system by accepting the qualifying offer to chop the deck after the dealer shuffled the cards. Later on, a member would then drag one specific card (“the cutting card”) along the deck while splitting the cards before placing it back in the deck.
Moreover, what made the scheme foolproof was that the same player had a tiny camera hidden in his cufflink to see the card values. Later on, that player would then excuse himself to give the camera and information to another member of the gang and they would go back with winning hands all the time.
The gang was detained in Vegas city at the Cosmopolitan casino in January of 2011 after unbelievingly winning over $1 million, but they were eventually released after authorities found no evidence of wrongdoings. Lastly, they were arrested for cheating in the Philippines, but they escaped shortly after and have been missing since.
Cannes Contact Lens Scam
Back in 2011, three Italians and a Frenchmen scammed nearly 64,000 Euros (roughly USD 84,000) from the Princes Casino in Cannes using an ingenious method. For example, while playing poker, the Frenchmen would mark symbols on the card decks with invisible ink, while the other Italian players wore special contact lense to check the markings.
Eventually, suspicion was raised after the group returned with a second substantial winning streak in the same casino. Police were called to analyze and found symbols marked on the cards which included a short line to represent an Ace and a cross to represent a King,
It took some time to work out how the players could see the ink. After leaving out the likelihood of camera usage, they finally noticed that each player sported contact lenses nobody had seen before. The players were caught and faced a long jail sentence.
Ritz Roulette Scam
Back in 2004, 3 gamblers from Siberia and Hungary managed to win £1.3 million (roughly USD 2.1 million) from the Ritz Casino in London by supposedly utilizing laser technology. It was beyond belief but they got to keep the money.
It is thought that the trio used a method based on a theory called “sector targeting”, which uses figures to see the “decaying orbit” and devises a possible set of outcomes regarding where the ball will rest.
Besides, the group supposedly used laser cannons in their phones that were connected to a computer that predicted the numbers that are likely to win big in roulette. The scanner could judge the roulette ball’s speed and suggest which numbers it would land on. Thus, they’re able to make calculations fast enough to place their bets before the ball made its final rotation.
In the end, the gang was arrested but, since “sector targeting” wasn’t technically considered cheating, they were let go without charges. If you’re interested in slots, you should check out online slots review for the best online slots available out there.
Phil Ivey Jr. Edge Sorting Scam
Supposedly, championship poker Phil Ivey Jr. complot his way to $9.6 million at a baccarat table back in 2014. He did it at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City using a technique called “edge sorting.” First, a player sorting edges does so by observing any defects or abnormalities in certain cards. Then, they would memorize these imperfections and use them to identify the cards correctly in the future.
Though it sounds like a fair tactic, edge sorting is frowned upon by most casino executives, particularly the way Ivey did it. He and his partner noticed that a number of the table’s cards had diamond shapes and patterns with defects on the back, some had full diamonds while others were cut in half. Later on, Ivey and his partner would clue in the dealer to flip the “good” and “bad” cards over in certain, fixed directions. This allowed Ivey to easily identify the cards and make all the right bets.
The Borgata filed a lawsuit against Ivey over the scheme. However, he has denied any wrongdoing, this is the second edge-sorting lawsuit he has been dealt over his career. With that in mind, if Ivey gets away with this, he’ll officially be one of the most successful scammers in the game.
Phuong Quoc Truong Gang
A man named Phuong Quoc Truong gathered a team of illegal card counters by traveling the US and convincing dealers to cheat for him. Later on, when he carried out the glorious scheme, he already had 30 accomplices.
Furthermore, to carry out the scam, the corrupt dealer would give the illusion of shuffling cards. He would just put the corners together so that the deck would make a shuffling noise while the cards stayed in the same order. Meanwhile, the main player would put on an act to smoke a cigarette while whispering Infos about the dealt cards to an outside player through a microphone hidden in his sleeve. Once given his instructions, the smoker would then place his fingers on his cigarette in a certain way, this was a code to the other players that direct them to make their bets.
Lastly, the group managed to make over $7 million from 25 different casinos before they were caught. The Sickwan Gaming Commission first found Phuong and his partners in crime over the security surveillance footage, and they were promptly arrested. Many found guilty and are currently serving time in prison.
Australian Danny Ocean
In 2013, an unidentified man was able to cheat AUD 33 million (USD 30 million) from the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia after hacking into the surveillance system. It was a heist straight out of Ocean’s Eleven, and the hunt for the man’s identity continues.
Even though, the casino did not formally reveal details about how the scheme was executed, a Vegas casino consultant by the name of Barron Stringfellow has deduced how it was accomplished. Also, guess that the player was wearing an earpiece and playing at the VIP tables, while an accomplice checks the surveillance footage from a secure location inside or outside the casino. The accomplice then sends details on what bets and plays to throw down for maximum profit.
Correspondingly, the only extra detail released about the case states that the VIP staff member responsible for looking after the gambler on the night of the heist has been dismissed. It is unknown, however, whether he was mixed up in the scam or not. The Crown Casino is optimistic about recovering the money, but officials mentioned that the chances are near impossible.