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Biggest Casino Scams of All Times

Since the dawn of casino industry, there has been one continuous leitmotif going around and attracting many people. Brave players from around the world have attempted to devise a plan or a scheme through which they can amass as much money as possible from the casino, without the risk of losing any. This seemingly simple strategy has seen many failures throughout the years, as the security in casino venues has become more and more strict, but there are still several notable occasions when Lady Luck actually smiled upon gambling scammers. Here is a list of five of the most innovative ways the mighty casino apparatus has been tricked.

Contact Lens Scam in Cannes, €64,000

It might sound like something straight out of an action movie, but this intricate fraud really happened back in 2011. Three Italian men and a Frenchman were determined to dominate the Princess Casino in Cannes with their genius way of thinking, and they really succeeded in collecting almost €64,000 (US$88,000). The secret behind their success was that they had an insider to help them in their venture. An employee of the casino was using a special ink to mark the backs of playing cards, so as to make their suits recognizable. While they were playing stud poker, the Italian players were using their special contact lenses to spot the otherwise indistinguishable markings and this helped them progress and win a big amount of money.

What attracted unwanted attention was the fact that after the initial winning streak, the group returned to the same casino and amassed big prize a second time. The authorities were immediately informed and after a detailed investigation, they managed to find the marked cards. The next step was to find out how the poker players were able to see the ink, and they tested various means, such as cameras and infrared glasses. Finally, they noticed the lenses each of the suspects was wearing and this led to their eventual imprisonment.

Laser Technology Put to the Test, £1.3 million

Even further back in 2004 three casino players from Hungary and Siberia came up with an inventive plan to make bigger earnings at the casino. They utilized a laser technology which they put into good work at the Ritz Casino in London and ultimately won about $2.1 million. The best part was that they actually got to keep the money for themselves. While they took part in the game of roulette they implemented the sector targeting theory which makes use of figures in order to determine the decaying orbit of the white ball.

Using the laser scanners on their phones and a computer, they were able to predict the numbers which had the potential to win big in the game. What was crucial to know was the speed of the ball, which then helped the computer calculate the number it was eventually going to land on. However, after their arrest, the three casino enthusiasts had to be released, since there is no law which prohibits sector targeting and it could not be considered a fraud.

US Dealers Recruitment, $7 million

Phuong Quoc Truong had the innovative idea that he could somehow manage to convince as many casino dealers as possible to work in his favor, instead of the casino’s and he assembled a team of illegal card counters all throughout the United States. There were a total of 30 people involved in the grand scheme and they were more than motivated to follow the agenda of Truong. The scam itself was being carried out by the dealer, who was giving the illusion of shuffling the deck of cards. In fact, the cards remained in their initial order. In the mean time the main player, smoking a cigarette, was giving information about the cards to another player, which helped them make the right bets.

As many as 25 different casinos fell prey to this criminal scheme and the scammers amassed $7 million before they were caught by the Sickwan Gaming Commission. What outed them was security surveillance footage which made their actions visible. Following the arrest, many of them pleaded guilty and are now serving their time in prison. The kingpin in the illicit scheme Truong was deprived of many objects purchased with the money, among which two of his houses and a brand new Porsche.

Edge Sorting by Professional Poker Player, $9.6 million

Rumor has it that Phil Ivey Jr. once used a fraudulent way to make his way to the big prize at a baccarat table. Back in 2012, he participated in a game at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, located in Atlantic City where he managed to put his winning strategy to the test. The method of edge sorting involves great memory and poker skills. He had to closely observe the cards for various defects or abnormalities, which to memorize and look for further ahead in the game.

He was able to identify them and use the knowledge for his advantage, which is considered an unfair tactic. Ivey Jr. could not make his plan work if he had not have a partner who was assisting him with the dealer. As soon as the casino authorities found out about the criminal scheme they filed a lawsuit against the poker champion, which he immediately denied. However, this is the second lawsuit against him with the same accusations in his career as a professional poker player. Most casino officials strongly disapprove of the edge sorting game tactic.

Ocean’s Eleven Strategy, $30 million

Your eyes are not deceiving you, and someone was inventive enough to steal A$33 million (US$30 million) from an Australia-listed casino. Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia was the location of the major fraud, but the name of the man responsible for the scam remains unknown. It all became possible after the surveillance system was hacked and the criminals had full access to the footage of all cameras in the casino venue. There are no official detailed about the scheme, but according to Las Vegas casino consultant Barron Stringfellow, there was most probably an earpiece involved.

One of the possible explanations is that the player was participating in a game at the VIP tables while his accessory was supervising the footage of the cameras and giving him additional information. He advised him what bets and moves to make in order to collect the largest amount of money. For the time being there is no further information regarding the situation, but the authorities of Crown Casino remain optimistic they will receive their money back.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.