The silver screen paints a glamourous picture of casino robberies, illustrating the brilliant schemes, the daring accomplices, and the criminal masterminds. From classic films like Casino to the widely-loved Ocean’s 11 trilogy, casino heists draw a crowd. If you were so bold as to dare to rob a casino, chances are high that you would be caught. Better stay on the right side of the law and gamble your chances on a mobile casino instead. Break the bank and cash in on riches (the legal way) with the new online slot Break Da Bank Again at Gaming Club.
Stranger Than Fiction
Get your casino heist fix another way. Read on for six amazing casino robbery stories, some of which have provided ideas for movies that we know and love. Which of your favourite casino movies were inspired by real events?
You Can’t Run Forever – Bellagio, Las Vegas (2000)
Jose Vigoa and accomplices Luis Suarez and Oscar Sanchez robbed the Bellagio in Las Vegas in 2000. Already with a track record of casino and armoured truck robberies, Vigoa thought he could handle the most recent job. However, everything began to fall apart as the three men tried to steal $160,000 by jumping over the counter to grab cash and chips. Vigoa screwed up by not wearing a mask and was instantly spotted. A chase ensued, resulting in catching Sanchez. Vigoa and Suarez were soon arrested and the only thing Vigoa walked away with was four life sentences in jail.
The One That Got Away – Stardust, Las Vegas (1992)
During one of history’s greatest robberies ever recorded, Bill Brennan executed the impossible in 1992. He was a cashier at the now-defunct Stardust casino in Las Vegas. One September afternoon he left to go on his lunch break and strolled out of the casino – with $500,000 worth of cash and chips, in a bag slung over his shoulder. Amazingly, Brennan has never been found and the case remains unsolved. Brennan found a spot on the FBI’s most-wanted list and likely kept all the money he stole.
Mastermind Brainiacs – Vegas and Beyond (1990s)
This famous case was the inspiration behind the 2008 film “21”, starring Kevin Spacey. Students from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) used their brains for power and developed a system that turned blackjack odds in their favour. Basically, they leveraged advanced card-counting techniques and brilliant strategies to win. Although the tactics they were using were technically legal, casinos would throw them out or take their cash once they were caught, leading MIT Blackjack Team members to don disguises and change their names to remain undetected. The total amount they got away with has never been disclosed, although they managed to rake in millions of dollars over the two decades, they played this way around the world.
Modern-Day Bonnie and Clyde – Circus Circus Casino, Vegas (1993)
Although this robbery took place more than 25 years ago, this couple still pulled off a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde heist. In October of 1993, Heather Tallchief and Robert Solis stole an armoured truck from the Circus Circus Casino on Las Vegas. Tallchief had been working undercover for the security company that owned the truck and Solis had spent 17 years in jail for armed robbery and murder. The couple absconded with $2.5 million and fled the country for a better life. But life did not get better. Solis ended up deserting Tallchief (and their child) soon after the robbery, leaving her a mere $1,000 of the total sum stolen. Finally, after a more than a decade, Tallchief surrendered and spent five years in prison. Solid has never been found.
Life Imitating Art – Soboba Casino, Vegas (2007)
Someone had watched too much Ocean’s 11, and that someone was Ronaldo Luda Ramos. Inspired by the Clooney-led flick, Ramos was a staff member at Soboba and in charge of security equipment. He started his heist adventure by pepper spraying and tying up with colleague, along with two other employees. He even threatened them with a weapon that was later discovered to be fake. He grabbed $1.5 million in cash and escaped with his driver. Not as lucky as the Ocean’s 11 characters, they were subsequently caught after two days.
Laser Tag – Ritz Casino, London (2004)
Similar to the MIT situation, three people in 2004 entered the Ritz Casino, armed only with lasers. They used these lasers to measure the speed of the roulette wheel and analyzed the data to predict the numbers on which the ball would land. Using this tactic, they managed to pull in nearly $1.5 million. The best part is that after the team was caught, the judge found their technique legal, allowing them to go free and keep all their money.
Whether you enjoy reading about genius criminals who got away with millions or goofball idiots who only set themselves up for failure, our culture gets a kick out of intricate schemes and taking a gamble against the law. Come back to reality once you get your dose of entertainment from these stories and take a gamble in your favor with any mobile casino games from Gaming Club.