Famous Casino Heists

Casinos have long been used as targets of criminal scams, ranging from elaborate heists and cons to simple cons. Some even inspired Hollywood films about these casino heists! Their audacity left both criminals and law enforcement incredulous.

Heather Tallchief and Roberto Solis famously staged one of the largest ever heists, taking $2.5 million from an armored truck belonging to Circus Circus Casino in 1993. This was one of history’s biggest robberies ever.

1. The MIT Blackjack Team

Casino businesses rely heavily on security and tight control of cash. Because of this, it can be challenging for criminals to successfully execute large-scale heists; yet some brave criminals have managed to do just that and made headlines with their elaborate schemes.

One of the most prominent cases was that of the MIT Blackjack Team. Maths experts from this university devised a system to turn blackjack odds in their favour and win millions at casinos across the world – even outwitting pit bosses by wearing disguises!

However, their luck ran out in 2007 when one of Soboba Casino’s surveillance techs went rogue and committed an audacious theft that saw him tie up colleagues before making off with approximately $1.5 million from its vault – only to be caught 48 hours later – like something out of Hollywood script.

2. The Stardust Heist

Most people wouldn’t dream of robbing a casino, yet some brave criminals have managed to turn their fantasy into reality with astonishing results.

Bill Brennan, a sports book cashier for Stardust Casino’s sports book cashier division in 1992, stole around $500,000 worth of cash and chips after work one September day and ran off into the night without being seen again. He remains missing to this day.

Six months later, Royal Hopper and his two sons staged an elaborate robbery on armored trucks they escorted. The thieves ambushed and stole $1.1 million in cash and negotiable checks while leaving no life-threatening injuries among security guards they shot – an incident which caused casinos to add bars around cashier cages as a precautionary measure.

3. The Ritz Heist

Though grand casino heists may only rarely make headlines outside Hollywood, real-world casinos have not always been immune from wild schemes. One notable heist involved Heather Tallchief and Roberto Solis’ 1993 attempt at robbing Circus Circus for an estimated sum of $3 Million.

Criminals managed to conduct an impressively smooth heist by disguising themselves as hotel staff members and acting like fake employees when entering rooms. Once inside a room, they convinced occupants to give them their spare key; then exploited a security flaw to empty its safe of its contents.

Many casino heists require inside knowledge in order to be successful; others do not even require leaving the casino itself. At Melbourne’s Crown casino, for example, one high roller managed to steal over $32 million by hacking into its security system and taking control of over three computers at the venue.

4. The Circus Circus Heist

This casino heist involved cash rather than chips; although its amount remains unspecified and no information about who committed it has come forward to reveal who was involved.

Heather Tallchief demonstrated in 1993 that not every heist has to be as complex or involved as an Oceans 11 or Oceans 13 scenario. Encouraged by Roberto Solis–a poet convicted of murder who was later released due to his poetry–Tallchief got a job driving armored vehicles for Loomis Armored that transported cash directly into Las Vegas casinos for deposit into ATMs. On October 1, she made a stop at Circus Circus where she ditched other transport guards before driving away with $3 million!

The heist was so brazen it could have come straight out of a Hollywood script: shots were fired, she donned a wig to hide her true appearance and used duct tape to disarm security guards – only for it all to end two years later when she crashed into a tree while fleeing police.

5. The Soboba Casino Heist

Casino heist movies provide an entertaining look at those who attempt to pull off successful heists, but in reality their reality can often be far more troubling. Below, OLBG presents some of the most famous examples of real-life casino heists that occurred throughout history.

One of the largest heists ever occurred at Bellagio Casino in 2010. A man wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a gun walked into the casino carrying $1.5 million worth of chips from a craps table and made off with it all in record time.

Rolando Luda Ramos, a surveillance technician for Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, entered their security trailer on August 2 and pretended to be a repairman before breaking in and taking cash from vaults before loading it into a duffel bag, according to court records.

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