January 11th, 2011 | Published in Security
Over the years there have been hundreds of attempts to scam land-based casinos out of money. As technology improves, criminals have become more creative regarding methods of cheating and stealing. The following are the top five casino scams on record. They vary over across many years and the methods between most of them are different.
An Armored Car Heist
The first scam took place in 1993 at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. Roberto Solis and his girlfriend Heather Tallchief stole an armored truck holding $2.5 million and escaped to the Cayman Islands. In 2005, Tallchief turned herself in and was sentenced to five years and three months in prison. However, Solis has never been captured.
More recently in 2004, three Eastern European players devised a cheating system utilizing lasers, computers and mobile phones which won them more than $1.9 million at the London Ritz Casino. These devices were used to track the speed of the roulette wheel and place wagers based on that speed.
An Indian Reservation Heist
Rolando Ramos and two partners robbed the Soboba Casino in California in 2007. They walked away with $1.58 million which, at the time, was the largest heist of an Indian reservation casino. Using pepper spray and other methods of force, Ramos made his way into the casino vault and kidnapped the guards. He was arrested a few days later for his crimes.
Creating Fake Tickets
Adam Vega was a slot floor employee at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona. In 2008, he admitted to stealing $650,000 over a two year period by acquiring passwords that generated jackpot tickets paying out as much $1,200 each. This was the largest employee theft in Arizona casino history.
The Trash Method
Elizabeth Williams, a former cashier at Louisiana’s Riverbend Palace Casino was arrested for taking over $52,000 in cash and documents in 2006. Her method was to load a garbage bag full of money and documents, then transport them to the trash. Apparently she took three bags of garbage to the trash can outside the casino and only two of them ended up in the actual garbage can.
Criminals have become increasingly creative when attempting to steal from casinos. They use every advantage possible including technology, creating fake tickets and using plain force. Overall most perpetrators that scam a casino will not get away with it, although a few have walked away with a great deal of money.