Last week, Laura brought to light a couple historic scams that deserved to be in the spotlight. Seriously, who even thinks of opening a slot machine right in front of everyone right there in the casino? Also, never, never take on as an accomplice someone who doesn’t have the smarts to act enthusiastic when winning $100,000, to not have proper identification and most of all, not hide every piece of incriminating evidence in his apartment. And then the “cutters” come along and surprise everyone with their hidden camera. Now let’s bring on out the top casino scams of all time for this last installment of the greatest casino scams in history.
This famous scam didn’t seem so impressive to me at first, but once I got exactly how it worked, I had to admit it was very ingenious. The most striking part is the simplicity of it all. All it really took was perfect sleight of hand and really good acting. Richard Martin is, as well put in the documentary on him and his scam, a casino’s worst nightmare.
The “Savannah,” named after Martin’s favorite stripper, works like this: when betting in roulette, he would bet a $5 chip with a $5000 chip underneath it; the top chip needed to be slightly off center and towards the dealer so that he or she cannot see the bottom chip. If the bet won, Richard would make a huge scene that he just won $10,000 and reveal the bottom chip, a legitimate win.
The cheating comes in if the bet loses, where he would have ready a stack of two $5 chips in his hand, quickly grab the original stack, and put it in his pocket. If the dealer caught him, he would act all drunk, apologize and replace the bet with the $10 bet in his hand. Richard Martin won a ridiculous amount of money doing this and never got charged with anything. Unbelievable!
The Identity Theft Scam
Imagine casinos just giving you money without you doing anything. That is basically what the Roselli brothers did mid-90s.
They hired a computer hacker to steal the identities of people with outstanding credit histories and several accounts, both US citizens and foreigners. They opened new accounts in those people’s names, applied to the credit departments of major casinos in all the gambling capitals, deposited $50,000 in each account, waited six months for the credit to be approved in the casinos, and then they began phase two of the scam.
Each casino gave them a credit line of $50,000. They would pretend to lose all the while other teammates were winning the money on the other end. They made sure to pay back the money promptly. After some time, the casinos would increase their credit lines. This kept happening until each credit line reached $1 million, for over 50 accounts!
The casinos bosses never realized something was wrong until the brothers were long gone. They eventually didn’t pay their debts, and the casinos would contact the people they thought they were looking for at real addresses of real, high-class homes in high class neighborhoods that had nobody living there. The Roselli brothers made off with over $37 million dollars. The craziest part is, when the casinos began looking for the people behind the fake names, it turned out that the Roselli brothers didn’t exist either; the real Rosellis had been dead for years.
That concludes the greatest casino scams segment. It really is intriguing to research all the scams people have concocted over the years. There are many more that didn’t make this list. Obviously, casinos now have measures to stop all these tricks. A casino scam is a felony that can land you in federal prison, so friendly advice: don’t even try.