Top 5 Greatest Casino Heists in History

Raymond McKinnon

Published on:

Top 5 Greatest Casino Heists in History

For decades Hollywood has produced plenty of nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat thrillers portraying brilliant minds who go out of their way to rob casinos. Some of the finest movies of this class include the likes of Ocean’s 11, Now You See Me: The Second Act, and The Good Thief. Well, as incredible as these blockbusters are, how realistic are they? Is it even possible to rob these gambling establishments?

If you are a casino gambling fan, whether, on leading iGaming sites like Ice Casino or brick-and-mortar facilities in Vegas or Macau, you may be interested to know that such heists are indeed possible. Grab a seat and some popcorn, if you will, for a look into some of the biggest casino robberies of modern history.

Soboba Casino, 2007 

Fifteen years ago, Rolando Ramos, accompanied by his co-worker at the Soboba Casino in southern California, walked into their working station at around 2 pm. What followed two hours later would be a jarring heist masterminded by the two workers that shook the casino establishment to the core:

  • The two casino employees in question made their way to the casino’s security office and outwitted three security details on duty 
  • Ramos duped the vault security on the pretense that the vault’s cameras needed fixing 
  • Upon gaining access to the vault, Ramos brandished a gun at the security team while grabbing as much cash as he could find 
  • It is said that he had jammed nearly $1.5 million into a duffel bag.  
Read Also  Chicago Fire Season 10: Where's Sylvie Brett and when is she returning to the NBC drama

Upon getting away, the ultimate saving grace of the casino establishment was that at least ten casino employees recognized the two robbers. Both masterminds were apprehended 48 hours later, with a 16-year jail term handed to Ramos and a 12-year sentence handed to his co-accused, Eric Aguilera.

Crown Casino Heist, 2013 

This Melbourne, Australia heist was so iconic that it is said to be the inspiration behind the popular first Oceans 11 movie. Said to be the biggest Casino robbery to date, this heist was spearheaded by businessman James Manning. The daring maneuver saw the millionaire win $33 million by playing eight winning hands of Blackjack.

After receiving an invite from the VIP services manager, Manning would hatch a string of moves that would have made all the Hollywood heist movie directors proud:

  • The first was to hack into the Crown Casino security camera’s systems 
  • With that access, they could view everything that would put Manning in a favorable position to win 
  • Then, after playing the eight winning hands, Manning would walk away with the largest win in the casino’s history.
Read Also  Outlander Season 6: The tragedy and the killer of the Starz drama episode 6

This massive win later triggered the curiosity of the casino security, who discovered the hack before Manning had transferred the money to his account. And since the funds remained in-house, the casino decided not to press any charges against the local police. To this day, Manning remains free as a bird, though he was slapped with a lifetime ban from Crown Casino.

The Circus Circus Heist, 1993 

In 1993, Heather Tallchief, in cahoots with her then-boyfriend Roberto Solis, made away with $3 million. She calmly made off with her work armored vehicle packed with money as her colleagues filled the ATMs of Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas. Solis was waiting for her in a storage unit, and they shipped the money to Miami. 

On September 15, 2005, after spending years on the FBI’s most wanted list, Heather Tallchief grew a conscience and surrendered herself to the United States State Marshals office in Las Vegas. However, her accomplice in the heist remains a fugitive at large.

Ritz Casino, 2004 

In 2004, a group of gamblers at the Ritz Casino in London formulated a plan to beat the house in roulette. The culprits used laser scanners and microcomputers to predict the ball and wheel speed and which numbers would likely come up next. The strategy, now dubbed ‘sector targeting,’ ended up costing the casino $1.7 million (£1.3 million).

Read Also  Ariana Grande: Was She Left Out Of 2021 Billboard Awards?

Interestingly, after a 9-month investigation into the matter by Scotland Yard, the culprits, who included two Serbian men and a Hungarian woman, were allowed to keep the money. However, the said authorities failed to establish the occurrence of a crime, and so the trio was let go scot-free.

Bellagio, 2010

Anthony Michael Carleo, a son to a well-respected Sin City judge, entered the Bellagio in a motorcycle helmet. He waved a gun in the gaming lobby and took off with $1.5 million in casino chips from a craps table. But then, since he was unable to keep his mouth shut, he was ultimately arrested by authorities. 

Parting Shot 

As interesting as these heists are, we must state that we do not condone any form of theft for whatever cause, as it is ultimately breaking the law. If you have to take casino money, get good enough at a gambling game and beat the house the right way!

Leave a Comment