Casino heists capture everyone’s imagination, whether due to their size or how the crime was committed. Many such daring acts even become inspiration for blockbuster movies!
One infamous casino heist occurred in 1992 when Bill Brennan managed to load up his backpack with $500,000 worth of chips from Casino de Montreal. Phil Ivey used edge sorting techniques against casinos.
1. The Biker Bandit
Casino chips in elite poker rooms and millions in vaults may appear like tempting loot, but pulling off a successful casino heist is no simple task, nor even legal. It requires courage, in some cases borderline stupidity, to successfully plunder these fortunes; modern surveillance technologies make thievery much harder than what movies like “Ocean’s Eleven” make it appear.
Anthony Carleo, known by later nickname as the Biker Bandit, made headlines for entering Bellagio Casino and taking $1.5 Million worth of chips off a craps table before fleeing down Flamingo Road with them on his motorcycle.
Carleo used his knowledge of security technology to bypass casino surveillance and make off with stolen chips in a duffel bag through the employee exit before fleeing through employee security to an online gambling forum where they would later be sold back for real money, which ultimately proved his downfall.
2. The Crown Casino Heist
Melbourne’s Crown Casino saw an action-packed casino heist straight out of Hollywood, when two high-rollers and an employee joined forces to steal $30 Million Australian dollars between 2013 and 2014. One suspect entered via a service door connected to an adjacent hotel complex within its complex.
At one casino in Philadelphia, a man wearing a blue boiler suit and black balaclava approached its brass-plated entrance and made a unmistakable gesture with his hand to indicate he was carrying cash.
A former casino employee monitoring the security system reportedly saw him and relayed information that helped the thief avoid detection by cameras. Although casino employees tend to be trustworthy and honest individuals, there may occasionally be someone like Heather Tallchief who took things a step too far – she drove off with $3 million from Circus Circus Casino in 1993.
3. The Casino de Monte-Carlo Heist
Monaco’s famed casino was the scene of an astounding casino heist that captured international headlines. This audacious, daylight theft saw police arrive with guns armed to secure the area around it shortly thereafter; and although robbers tried to escape capture they were quickly apprehended and shot by security personnel.
This heist inspired the song ‘The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’. Additionally, Monte Carlo casino has also served as the backdrop for several films such as James Bond’s Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye.
At PB, our take on classic capers is like no other: as you travel around meeting all sorts of outrageous and badass criminals as you form your crew for a big heist job in Monaco. Your choices during each chapter will increase your Heist Score and determine who joins your crew when the final chapter arrives; but what if your plan falls apart midway? Can you still return on track and escape Monaco as an even richer thief?
4. The Crockfords Casino Edge-Sorting Scandal
The Crockfords Casino Heist, widely dubbed as the “Heist of the Century”, remains one of the most remarkable casino robberies ever witnessed, inspiring movies like Storming Las Vegas and Ocean’s 13. Notably, this audacious heist wasn’t carried out using guns or high-tech gadgets but by two low level security personnel using technical knowledge alone to gain entry to vast quantities of cash.
Heather Tallchief managed to pull off this heist without camera breaches or cheating, thanks to working for Loomis as a transporter of cash from casinos to ATMs. At the end of it all, Tallchief left with 2.5 million dollars, and she and Solis fled from the country together, which remains unknown today.
Crockfords Casino was ordered to pay Phil Ivey PS7.7 million after his triumphant baccarat play in 2012. According to them, edge sorting had been used by Ivey in order to gain an advantage and this practice amounted to cheating.