There is no question that casinos have incredible security. In fact, they have some of the most notoriously high security out of any venue in the world. But this doesn’t stop some criminals from taking a shot at a robbery. The vast majority of these attempts fail, and end with the criminals in jail, or worse. But sometimes, out of incredible effort, dumb luck, or a combination of the two, the robberies are successful.
These are some of the attempts at robbing a casino that actually resulted in success. Or at least partial success.
The One That Changed It All
Perhaps one of the most famous robberies of all time is the case of William Brennan. He was a cashier that worked at the Stardust in Las Vegas in 1992, and managed to get away with around $500,000. The most stunning part about the robbery is that Brennan did not use a gun, did not have to threaten a single security guard, and used a trash bag to carry his loot in plain sight. Very simply; no one thought to stop him, given that he was a familiar face.
Brennan is still on the FBI’s most wanted list to this day. More importantly, his brazen theft triggered casinos across Las Vegas to implement new security measures, most of which are still used to this very day.
A Technological Achievement
As technology has advanced, casinos have had to step up their security in a big way. Three men in 2004 managed something astonishing, though probably should have just stayed home and hit up Swedish real money bingo sites instead. The details are sketchy, but the men hit up the Ritz in London, armed with nothing but their mobile phones. Apparently the three had devised a software system that used the camera on the phones to measure the speed at which the roulette wheel spun, and generate predictions of the most common outcomes.
They won around £1.3 million before the casino got suspicious. The most amazing part of all is that, although having to appear in court, the men were not charged with a crime. But only due to technicalities. The most that could be done was banning them from casinos for life.
Today it is still against the rules to use a phone near a roulette wheel, in most casinos.
The College Bandits
Last we have another notorious casino scam, with many books and movies based on the interesting series of events, the most well known being a film titled 21. A group of college students trained extensively in card counting, making them near unbeatable at Blackjack. The group, now known as the MIT Blackjack Team, worked well together, managing to steal upwards of $100 million between 1979 and 1993.
They did eventually get caught, and were banned from casinos, but ultimately kept the money. Again, the events forced casinos to drastically step up security, with most now employing experienced card counters to spot frauds in record time.