Casino Scams ᗎ The Most Famous Casino Scams in the World

Which Are the Most Famous Casino Scams?

You would be shocked by the lengths some individuals go to just to pull off an elaborate scheme and leave as if nothing ever happened. While some of the instances we’re about to talk about are very inventive and do not pose any threats for anyone but the actual doer, others have had severe implications for countless innocent people.

While we would totally recommend you to avoid any type of play other than the fair one, we must disclose that it would be hard to pull most of these off nowadays. The venues have learned their lesson over the years and have taken extreme measures to reduce the potential casino scams to the bare minimum. State-of-the-art, multi-camera surveillance and all sorts of biometrics scanners cover all areas of the gaming floors and constantly monitor for any irregularities that would indicate any type of misdemeanour. So, do think twice about what your intentions are.

The Roselli Brothers Casino Scam Worth Millions

🕵️ People Involved: Roselli Brothers
📅 When? 1995-2000
🗺️ Where? The US, Puerto Rico
💸 Schemed Amount: $38 Million
🎰 Casino Game of Choice: Baccarat, Craps
🚔 Were the Scammers Caught? No

The Roselli brothers really went all-in in their efforts to scheme the gambling venues and dragged thousands of non-suspecting victims. In the process, they spent none of their own funds but millions of Dollars of people, the identities of which, were stolen by the Roselli’s. Theirs truly is the most vicious of all the casino scams, mostly because of its impact.

Here’s what they did. With a hacker’s help, they were targeting individuals with perfect credit ratings only. With the stolen identities, they opened accounts at various casinos along the famous Las Vegas Strip and other popular gambling destinations; the perfect backdrop for their casino crimes and scams. The Roselli brothers deposited $50,000 into each one with the existing accounts, thus giving the casino confidence that they mean serious high-rolling business.

As time flew by, they were already with credit lines nearing a million dollars across multiple gambling locales. What they eventually did is to empty those and leave without any trace. The worst thing about the whole situation is that the casinos then started chasing the victims with stolen identities for their money instead of the Roselli brothers. What happened to them? Some believe they’re dead, others that they’re alive. It’s a mystery no one knows the answer to.

The Contact Lenses Scam in Cannes

🕵️ People Involved: One Italian and Three Frenchmen
📅 When? 2011
🗺️ Where? Cannes, France
💸 Schemed Amount: $84,000
🎰 Casino Game of Choice: Stud Poker
🚔 Were the Scammers Caught? Yes

The Contact Lenses Casino Scam did not cost the gambling industry millions, so it wasn’t the most lucrative, but it certainly was ingenious. This scheme’s titular characters decided to make their way to Cannes and test out a technique that actually proved to work really well. Unfortunately, they got too greedy too fast, and things ended unexpectedly fast.

What they did is to visit the targeted venue, and whilst playing Stud Poker, mark the cards in the deck with a special type of ultraviolet ink. Later on, the Italian would return wearing special lenses that would make the ink appear visible to him, thus allowing him to calculate his moves and score win after win. It was a smart plan, no doubt and with an earned spot among the best casino scams.

If they were a bit smarter about it and didn’t make a suspicious pattern out of their nasty habit, they wouldn’t have been caught so early. Thanks to them, nowadays, most cameras are equipped with an ultraviolet sensor that exposes any potential markings on the cards. If they were to switch up the venues and earn a fortune by remaining low-key, this particular entry into our list of the most famous online casino scams would have truly been one of the greatest gambling scandals in history.

The Cutting Baccarat Casino Scam

🕵️ People Involved: The Cutter Gang
📅 When? 2011
🗺️ Where? The US and the Philippines
💸 Schemed Amount: $ 1 Million
🎰 Casino Game of Choice: Baccarat
🚔 Were the Scammers Caught? No

The Cutter Gang and their doings are famous casino scams that were specialising in Baccarat schemes. This is the perfect game for their particular skill set because of the players’ standard practice to cut the cards. It is at this moment that their sinister plan kicks into high gear. As they are slowly cutting, they ensure that the deck is clearly visible by the tiny camera hidden in the sleeve.

Afterwards, that same player would leave the table and swap the camera with another punter that will join in and use the gathered intel in any way possible. The aim is to make as informed bets as possible and rake in as much as they can from the game. With more than $1 million in rewards, the gang really had a great run and always seemed to escape the authorities’ clutches, one way or another.

Initially, they were arrested in Las Vegas in 2011. Unfortunately, the Cutter Gang had to be released because there wasn’t enough evidence to support their casino crimes and scams. It wasn’t long after, and they were taken into custody in the Philippines again only to escape the authorities’ clutches again. Where they are today is unknown — spending the illegally-obtained money and being happily ever after, perhaps?

The Cigarette Pack Roulette Scam

🕵️ People Involved: Monique Laurent, Her Husband, and Brother
📅 When? 1973
🗺️ Where? Casino Barrière Deauville, France
💸 Schemed Amount: $1 Million
🎰 Casino Game of Choice: Roulette
🚔 Were the Scammers Caught? Yes

Of all the best casino scams, this is the oldest one. Once you read about it, you will realise that something like this can never be pulled off in any land-based venue due to the advancement of security measures. Still, Monique Laurent and her relatives managed to snag nearly $1 million from the Casino Barrière Deauville. It was actually her brother’s idea as he was the dealer at the table, as well.

What they did is to insert a small radio transmitter in a pack of cigarettes and a receiver in a roulette ball. Upon spinning, with the push of a button on the transmitter, they could control which area the ball would land on the wheel. The team was quite successful, too, with a 90% accuracy. They got caught, of course, in the act of performing the scam, too.

The industry has come a long way since then, and there are various roulette strategies and tips that you can use to your advantage and maximise your winning potential instead of opting for breaking the law. Do yourself a favour and stay away from trouble. Plus, part of the gambling thrill is the uncertainty of whether the ball y=will land on your number or not.

The Sector Targeting Scam

🕵️ People Involved: Gang of Eastern European Gamblers
📅 When? 2004
🗺️ Where? Ritz Casino, London, the UK
💸 Schemed Amount: $2 Million
🎰 Casino Game of Choice: Roulette
🚔 Were the Scammers Caught? Yes, but Eventually Released

These guys made the right decision to choose and do what they did when they did it because there were no specific laws that prohibited sector targeting and similar casino crimes and scams at the time. Bad news for the Ritz in London that did bid a farewell with approximately $2 million of its riches as the court ruled out in the scammers’ favour.

Their plan? As soon as the roulette starts spinning, they would scan the table with their phones. Lasers integrated into the app would determine a sector where the ball would land, and the punters place bets in the designated area. The calculation is based on the speed of the ball and the dimensions of the roulette wheel. While it doesn’t pinpoint the exact slot, where the ball would land, nor if it’s going to land on black or red, it turned out to be highly effective.

Of course, they eventually got caught, but the court released them and allowed them to keep all the winnings. Unfortunately, offline and online casino scams of such nature would continue to occur. Depending on how careful punters are, you may just get away with it. Otherwise, prepare for lengthy stays behind bars and serious monetary fines.

The False Shuffling Casino Scam and Pai Gow John

🕵️ People Involved: The Tran Organisation
📅 When? 2002-2007
🗺️ Where? The US
💸 Schemed Amount: $7 Million
🎰 Casino Game of Choice: Baccarat, Blackjack
🚔 Were the Scammers Caught? Yes

It all started with false shuffling here, and it quickly evolved into an elaborate scheming business that involved more than forty people and casinos across the entire USA. It was a major operation that included gamblers and dealers, led by the mastermind Phuong ‘Pai Gow John’ Truong. How did it work: the dealer was false shuffling the deck (different from shuffle tracking in Blackjack), meaning he or she was just pretending to do so.

Meanwhile, two other people were in as part of the casino scams at the same table. One would pretend to smoke a cigarette and whisper instructions into a microphone hidden in the sleeve. The 3rd person would then place bets based on the instructions and hidden symbols determined by how the cigarette was being held. For example, having a drag with one finger on signalises that a bet is to be placed — same procedure but with two fingers on means doubling down.

The Tran Organisation grew immensely, with its peak reaching a huge $868,000 hit in October 2005. From there on, everything started slowly falling apart as greed completely overtook Pai Gow John’s mind. He started to swap his informants rapidly. In return, they became vengeful and fed information to the FBI, which infiltrated the gang undercover. As a result, all 47 members were arrested and sentenced to various fines and jail time.

The Edge-Sorting Casino Scam

🕵️ People Involved: Phil Ivey, Cheng Yin Sun
📅 When? 2012
🗺️ Where? The Borgata, Atlantic City, the US
💸 Schemed Amount: $10 Million
🎰 Casino Game of Choice: Baccarat, Craps
🚔 Were the Scammers Caught? Yes

Our last entry in the list of famous online casino scams took place at the world-renowned Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City over the course of a year. Phil Ivey deprived the resort of nearly $10 million, thanks to his sharp and conniving mind and the simple edge-sorting procedure. What it does is to have the player exploit the manufacturing defects of the cards’ patterns and any other traits that have appeared on the back and assign it to the corresponding value of the card.

However, snagging $10 million under the nose of one of the best casinos in Atlantic City and the entire East Coast would require a bit more skills than that and Ivey and Sun knew that. Their high-stakes plan was very elaborate. It included a private room, an extra person to sit with Ivey (Sun), an automated card shuffler, and a personal Mandarin-speaking dealer.

Later on, it was established that the dealer was poached and was part of the scheme. He was secretly allowing Ivey to look at the top card before its reveal on the table. He would then move on to mumble either “good card” or “bad card” in Mandarin Chinese. Based on this, the dealer would know how to deal by singling out the strategically important cards’ leading edges. They did end up getting caught, and Ivey was told to pay back the casino every cent it was deprived of.

Cyber Security and Protection From Casino Scams

Are Online Casino Scams Popular?

Online casino scams do exist but are easy to avoid. Most of the scams occur at unregulated and unsafe gambling operators that exist with the sole purpose of deceiving unsuspecting punters. That is why it is extremely important to read up on any venue you express interest in beforehand. Read reviews, look for opinions, scour the website for red flags. Take your time and be prepared. Otherwise, the most common examples of virtual schemes include but are not limited to:

  • Rigged Games
  • Deposit Theft
  • Identity Theft
  • Winning Payout Refusal
  • Unwanted Malware Through Additional Downloads

All of this could be easily avoided if you opt to place bets at either of the best casino sites in the UK. They process full licensing from the leading regulatory bodies, work with trusted casino software suppliers, and boast thousands of games with fair and random outcomes. With just a little bit of research, you can easily detect and distinguish them from the extensive pool of venues that are fond of online casino scams. Here are a few pointers and specific logos to be on the lookout for:

  • Licensing Bodies – UKGC, MGA, Curaçao Gaming Control Board
  • External Gaming Audits – eCOGRA
  • Casino Software Developers – Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Evolution Gaming
  • Responsible Gaming – GamCare, GamSTOP, Gamblers Annonymous
  • Security – SSL Encryption and Security Protocols Certificates
  • Terms and Conditions – Reasonable Bonus Requirements

Most of the information provided above is easily obtainable from the footer of any given safe digital venue that strictly avoids any types of casino scams. To be extra sure, give the terms and conditions or FAQ page a good skim prior to setting up any account whatsoever. Especially relevant if you haven’t looked for any recommendations around the web.

Are Online Casino Scams Popular?

Regardless of the field of expertise, certain individuals manage to pave the way and force the industry to evolve a lot sooner than expected, thanks to their bad and malicious behaviour. A look at the best casino scams will not be complete if we fail to single out a few of the individuals that made headlines for more than one occasions. They “pioneered at” different casino games and would add even more completeness to our list of famous casino scams.

  • Tommy Glenn Carmichael – One of the most well-known slot cheaters of all time. He managed to rob slots of their jackpots for years as they were evolving to become more difficult for him to crack. He always knew what to do and where to do it. He was mostly successful, thanks to his very own inventions, the top-bottom joint, the monkey paw, and the light wand, which to this day remain as three of the most creative and effective slot machine cheats at the time of their existence.
  • MIT Blackjack Team – The MIT Blackjack Team are a bunch of extremely gifted MIT students under the guidance of their equally talented professor that infiltrated several casinos in Las Vegas. They used card counting as the tool for one of the most thrilling casino scams ever. The movie adaptation also helped boost their fame. It was a well-oiled machine of spotters and big players that raided table after table whilst getting richer. Things did not end well for them in Sin City, but theMIT Blackjack Team story remains one of the more fascinating ones in the industry.
  • Dominic LoRiggio – Nicknamed “The Man with the Golden Arm”, this guy was all the news when you see him around the craps table. He spent so many years practising that he was able to control the way the dice land on the table. Not as easy of a feat as you might think. Certain conditions must be, of course, as the entire process is like art. What he does isn’t technically registered as one of the casino crimes and scams, yet casino owners force him to throw differently every time he visits a venue.

Casino Scams Are Happening but with Slim Success Chances

In conclusion, we would like to point out that offline and online casino scams are happening to this very day. Chances are, they will remain a central figure as the casino environment evolves even more. However, venues around the world implement an arsenal of measures to ensure that such things would never happen under their watch. In case you are unsure, just follow the clear indicators of a safe and licensed casino, and there won’t be anything for you to worry about, aside from your luck capacities.

Frequently Asked Questions That Need Answering

We are at the finish line and will soon be done talking about the famous casino scams. However, before we do, we have included a brief and concise section containing the most common questions that punters and non-punters have regarding the best casino scams.

🤔 Which are the most famous casino scams?

There are several documented casino scams that are well-known, especially to people that are interested in gambling. They involve skilful players with their preferable casino games and tactics that they use to cheat the system and deceive the gambling venue. Some are not considered strictly illegal but are still frowned upon.

🔒 Do online casino scams exist?

Online casino scams exist and are a real threat, especially to unsuspecting punters that have not taken the time to familiarise themselves with a given venue. With such casino sites, you are prone to having your deposit taken away from you, have your identity stolen, become prone to viruses through various downloads, and more. Always inquire and avoid shady casinos.

📸 Are there any famous casino crimes and scams celebrities?

We wouldn’t refer to them as celebrities, but there are famous gambling cheaters with popularity based on their schemes and dishonest way of reaching their goals. Some enjoy their activities to this day as there isn’t something strictly illegal that they are doing, while others are spending their days behind bars.

⚖️ How to distinguish safe sites from casino scams?

Every one of the top-rated safe online casinos in the UK has undergone rigorous checks by punters and auditing firms alike. They have received the necessary stamps of approval by a major licencing organisation and enough praise from the audience to leave you confident and relaxed about your choice. Do your research.

💰 What is the biggest amount to be stolen during the best casino scams?

The record amount of stolen money over a continuous amount of time belongs to the infamous Roselli Brothers at nearly $40 million. They managed that by stealing hundreds of innocent people’s identities and perfect credit score and then opening casino accounts under their names at various casinos around the US.