Perhaps it’s the flashing lights, the discordant cacophony of sounds, or the massive amounts of money that exchanges hands on a daily basis, but land-based casinos often bear the brunt of player frustration when it comes to losing. However, the perpetrators soon realise that crime and casinos don’t really mix and anyone who has ever felt tempted to take out their frustrations on fellow players or casino staff or property would be wise to remember that there is generally a decent sized team of burly men tasked with keeping the casino floor safe at all times.
EjWagner-CrimeHistorian.com takes a special interest in gambling and crime and anyone who shares this interest will find many fascinating true crime stories amongst our hallowed halls and gambling laws.
Gambling and Crime at Resorts World Casino
When the Resorts World Casino opened their doors in Queens in October 2011, there is absolutely no way that they could’ve predicted just how many times they would see the police gracing their establishment. Along with 5000 whirring gambling machines, the Resorts World Casino was hit by a wave of criminal activity in just the first few months after they opened. While the police have often been called to assist with particularly difficult cases, the most common cause of commotion is players physically assaulting the digital gambling machines.
George Govan, a 56- year old man from Brooklyn, New York punched a slot machine after it refused to pay out. At the time of his arrest, Govan told security guards on the scene: “I lost $300 without a bonus, so yes, I broke the machine” after which he was arrested and sentenced to 90 days in jail. Crime and casinos really are a bad combination!
Gambling and Crime at the Bellagio Casino
The next story might sound like something out of a movie, but we assure you this really did take place! On 14 December 2010 the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas became the target of a bizarre criminal quickly dubbed as the ‘Motorcycle Bandit’. The perpetrator parked his motorcycle in front of the Bellagio and, while still wearing his helmet, went straight to the craps table armed with a gun and demanded $1.5 million worth of chips. The whole event was over in less than 3 minutes, and the armed bandit left as quickly as he arrived.
What makes this story even more compelling is that police officers in Las Vegas believe that the same man is responsible for a similar crime that took place just 5 days before the Bellagio incident. On 9 December, a man wearing a helmet robbed a poker room cashier of almost $20,000 chips at the Las Vegas Suncoast Casino, after which he sped off on a black motorcycle. The man has never been arrested, leading us to be cheeky enough to say that crime and casinos aren’t always ill-fitting match.
Crime and Casinos Statistics
While most of our readers are from Canada and New Zealand, here at EjWagner-CrimeHistorian.com we thought you may be interested in some casino crime statistics from the most popular casino cities in the United States.
The following casino cities have been ranked by number of crimes per 100,000 residents.
- Atlantic City, New Jersey – 7518
- Biloxi, Mississippi – 6468
- New Orleans, Louisiana – 5206
- Las Vegas, Nevada – 3774
- Reno, Nevada – 3386
Of all the casino crimes listed above, robbery was by far the most prevalent, and this further proves how the flashing lights may cause some patrons to get a bit greedy on the casino floor!