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Showing results for tags 'crime'.

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  1. Today's topic takes us on a journey where honour and rules fell by the wayside. Here follows 7 of the most high-profile casino heists of our time and the drama that came with them. Truthfully, Danny and Rusty had much better plans than these busted criminals, but uncovering what bizarre ideas people come up with to con their way into riches, also makes for brilliant entertainment. If true-crime docu-series are your thing and the Ocean's Eleven crew had you from the word go, these tales are perfect for you. Join us as we investigate huge casino heists and the schemes behind them. ✓ A Bike, A Bandit, and the Belaggio As the world's most famous gambling hub, Las Vegas is like a shiny object to a crow for brazen criminals. It comes as no surprise then that Vegas holds the most prolific tales of casino robberies. Some of Sin City's grand casinos even have more than one tale to tell. The iconic Bellagio casino resort is one such venue, but today we focus on the biggest hit at this glorious facility. The story isn't quite as thrilling and intricate as Danny and his eleven would like it to be, but it includes a self-proclaimed bandit wearing a helmet with a bike as his escape vehicle. Referred to as the Biker Bandit, Anthony Carleo set his sights on the high-stakes craps table. Purportedly, Carleo himself was high on more than life and approached the craps table with his bike helmet and a firearm. Carleo managed to grab casino chips worth $1.5 million on that early morning in 2010 and got away with it. That was until his ego got the better of him, and he bragged about his victorious heist to a dealer. Much to his disappointment, the Belaggio discontinued the $25,000 chips he stole, forcing his hand. Carleo made a rookie mistake by creating an online profile to sell his casino chips. Surprisingly, he found a buyer! Predictably, it was a cop. Tony Carleo was sentenced to prison for 9 years. ✓ A Poet, Romance, and Robbery Someone dived too deep into her action-romance novels and thought she fashioned herself a real-life Clyde. This high-profile heist involves trickery that could make many of the others on this list look like child play. The year was 1993, and Roberto Solis, an award-winning poet, had just tasted the satisfaction of being a free man as he walked out of prison after 17 years of captivity. His girlfriend, Heather Tallchief, was 27 years younger than him and adored her bad boyfriend. Coincidentally or not, Tallchief worked for an armoured security company, Lumis, that Solis tried to rob in 1969. The 21-year-old security truck driver and her convict boyfriend planned a perfect heist. The trucks from Lumis contained huge amounts of cash to refill ATMs at casinos, and Tallchief succeeded at driving off with one meant for the Circus Circus casino in Las Vegas. With $3 million in the back of the armoured vehicle, Tallchief met Solice at an abandoned warehouse where they must have been in a hurry and only took $2.5 million of the cash. Apparently, there is no honour among thieves, as Heather decided to turn herself in more than a decade later when Roberto abandoned her and their son. Tallchief testified that Solis left them with nothing but $1,000, and she could no longer live with the guilt. The convicted robber and murderer, Roberto Solis, remains at large, while Tallchief received a 5-year sentence. ✓ An Inside Job at Soboba Casino As casino employees know the most about daily operations in their workplace, it only makes sense that there must be an inside job heist, right? The duo who thought they duped Soboba Casino security in 2007 matched these credentials perfectly. Apparently, the temptation of constantly being around millions in cash got to Rolando Ramos and Eric Aguilera. Aguilera was a former employee of Soboba Casino, Riverside County, but had his sights sets on much bigger things, so he moved on from the casino employ. Their plan required that Ramos remain in service of the casino, as his access to security cameras was key to the heist. The 25-year-old Ramos did all the work while Aguilera waited in the car. He tied up three of the employees on duty and tricked the guards into taking him to the vault. It was only when Ramos pulled out a gun that the unsuspecting guards realised they had problems. Ramos and Aguilera got away with $1.5 million in cash, and a high-speed car chase ensued. The duo were arrested within 48 hours, and Rolando Ramos added in his statement that he was high on cocaine during the robbery and the gun was, in fact, a BB gun. Whether this was true or just his way of trying for a lower sentence is unclear. If so, the judge didn't fall for it because their bail was set at $250,000. ✓ At Family Affair at Stardust Casino As we have seen in many true-crime docu-series, sinister parents have a tremendous influence on their children. More often than not, they abuse their position to create criminals. The Hopper family had the curse of a master-mind father who dragged his sons into his greedy schemes. As fate would have it, Jeffrey and Bobby Hopper's dad, Royal Hopper, held an important position at the Stardust casino in Las Vegas. In September 1991, Hopper senior convinced his son to rob the casino while he was on duty. Bobby ambushed his dad and a co-worker during a cash transfer in the casino and escaped with $150,000. Pa Hopper reported the robbery and deflected any suspicion from himself. Later, Hopper senior reeled in his other son for the next job as a big armoured truck heist required all three Hoppers. They disguised themselves with wigs and beards and used smoke bombs to distract the truck drivers. Sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster, right? Much to Hopper senior's satisfaction, his family business made more than one million dollars that day. The Hooper's victory was short-lived as the authorities caught them soon after the heist. Royal Hopper was sentenced to 17 years in prison for being a bad father and a robber. In a surprising turn of events, one of the Hopper brothers turned a page and became a pastor for prison inmates. ✓ Physics, Probability, and the Perfect Crime This extremely interesting story takes us to the Northern parts of our globe as the accused trio targeted a glamourous UK casino. To the standard gambler, terms like 'orbital decay' and 'sector targeting' may be foreign. But to a group of physics graduates, its mouthwatering theoretical terminology, and three Eastern-European gamblers made mega moolah with it. In 2004, the Ritz Casino in London had no idea what would follow. Two male and one female gamblers approached their roulette table and proceeded to place a bet. The unsuspecting croupier spun the wheel and dropped the ball. A short while later, the friends walked away with £100,000 in winnings. They returned the following evening, won a staggering £1.2 million in approximately 3 hours, and triggered suspicion with the pit boss. As it turns out, the lucky gamblers had a lot more than luck on their side. The gamblers reportedly used laser scanners and microcomputers to calculate where the ball would land based on the spin of the wheel. This gave them a much higher probability of winning. While the cheaters were reported to the authorities, they walked away with their winnings as the court decided no crime was committed. A lifetime ban from London casinos as the only punishment, £1.3 million in winnings, and proof that physics can predict the outcome of roulette makes this a perfect crime. ✓ High Roller and VIP Services Manager Tried to Take The Crown Honestly, most casino robberies are inside jobs, and this story is one of the most high-profile crimes in the casino industry. The incident in question took place a little further South from the previous tale and includes a millionaire, a casino employee, and a cocktail with a $12,500 price tag. Security staff at Crown Casino in Perth, New Zealand, nearly had the wool pulled over their eyes in 2013. But, once again, greed exposed the criminals for who they are. How exactly the two malefactors knew each other is unclear, but James Manning and a VIP services manager from the casino staged a massive heist from the high-limit card tables. Because The Crown never reported the culprits to the police, details on the entire situation vary from one source to the next, but the core facts match up. Manning had a PR appointment with The Crown. The millionaire would purchase a famous cocktail at the casino containing cognac found on the Titanic for $12,500. A VIP services manager invited Manning to enjoy high-stakes gambling before the cocktail event. During his time at the tables, the high-roller confidently placed his bets and beat his opponents for 8 straight hands. Walking away with an eye-watering pot worth $32 million, Manning thought he had duped the casino. Unfortunately, security officials discovered his secret. Through hacked cameras and signals from the VIP services manager, Manning cheated his way through all eight games. The Crown never reported him, but they did get most of their money back and threw the cheater out of their casino. ✓ Is it a Crime to be Clever? Talking about unfair advantages reminds us of a tale that inspired a major Hollywood movie and deserves an honourable mention in today's blog. Thanks to Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, and Kate Bosworth, most movie fans know about this drama that took place during the 90s. The Harvard graduate Bill Kaplan trained select students from MIT in card counting and started a business out of winning blackjack games. The MIT Blackjack Team became notorious and won millions with their card counting techniques from casinos all over the world. Technically, card-counting is not a crime, but it will get you banned from a casino as the skill breaks house-edge down to fractions of a percentage. Some see it as an unfair advantage and cheating, while others believe it is ok to outsmart your opponents.
  2. Las Vegas is filled with wonder and hidden secrets many don't know about. Did you know that the ex-baseball star Pete Rose can be found in casinos ready to give out his autograph for a price? Are you looking to find out what's hidden underneath Las Vegas as far as scandals and secrets mostly only the locals have heard of? Read on to discover Las Vegas secrets that many would rather have hidden than found out. 1. The Monkey Paw Did you know that Las Vegas calls itself the Entertainment Capital of the World? Tommy Glenn Carmichael stole millions of dollars from casinos by using different methods to rig slot machines. The one method he used was known as the monkey's paw. It was a wire that would insert through the machine's payout chute and trip the microswitch. The machine then released a jackpot. His techniques improved as technology did. His next trick was known as the light wand. The light wand would blind the slot machine's sensor and have the machine spit out coins. He was eventually caught by the FBI and had to serve time in jail and probation. After this, he wasn't allowed in casinos again. 2. Ron Harris Ron Harris was a software engineer who would write anti-cheating software for the Nevada Gaming Control Board. As he was doing this, he was also placing hidden software in the coding machines. This hidden software paid out huge jackpots when players would place coins in a certain sequence. He rigged 30 machines before he had his accomplices play the slots and walk away richer. He was eventually caught when one of his accomplices was found trying to rig a game in Atlantic City. He eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. 3. The Rat Pack The Sands Hotel and Casino experienced its last great show in 1996 when it crumbled. It was a frequent stop for the Rat Pack and Hollywood directors. It was owned by alleged mobsters such as Sheldon Adelson and Howard Hughes. In 1931, to fight the crumbling economy, gambling was legalized. After World War II a boom came to Las Vegas. First came the restaurants and casinos in the 40s. In the 50s, more modern hotel-casinos started popping up. The Sands was one of the first hotels to be built on the strip. The biggest news for The Sands Hotel was when the Rat Pack made it their home base. Frank Sinatra started singing in the Copa Room at The Sands. Sinatra brought celebrities and glamour to the hotel. The other Rat Packers joined him, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and Dean Martin. They brought along celebrities from Lucille Ball, John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, to Rosemary Clooney and Lauren Bacall. While the 50s and 60s were great for The Sands, it started losing steam. Howard Hughes eventually bought it and had dreams of expanding the property. Frank Sinatra announced that he was going to Caesars Palace. They had eventually cut off his credit because of Sinatra's debt to the hotel. Some claim that Sinatra threw a tantrum climbing on top of the tables and screaming. Then he threw a chair at the casino boss who punched him in the face. Without Sinatra, The Sands started to suffer. It was sold by Howard Hughes to Sheldon Adelson. Adelson decided to blow up the hotel to build the Venetian. 4. Hilton Arson The Las Vegas Hilton had many acts from Liberace to Elvis but also had a terrible crime occur. A fire had broken out in an elevator lobby on the 8th floor. The fire consumed much of the building killing and injuring many. They eventually became suspicious of the busboy Phillip Cline. He eventually admitted to starting the fire and claimed he did it by accident. He claimed he was smoking and the fire had gone onto the curtains. Investigators started to doubt his recalling of the events. After this, he was convicted of arson, murder, and received a life sentence. 5. Al Bramlet Murder The Las Vegas Culinary Worker Local 226 union was run by Al Bramlet. He was as powerful as casino owners and mobsters in the area. They represented almost all of the housekeepers, dishwashers, and waiters in the city's hotels. He not only represented his members but also used violence to go after his goals. In this Vegas secret, he organized almost every service worker in town. A non-union gourmet restaurant was destroyed because of 2 bombs going off on its roof. Another restaurant was destroyed by a bomb a month later. One year later, Bramlet ordered bombs to be placed in front of 2 restaurants which never exploded. They were discovered by the police. Bramlet refused to pay the hitmen Gramby and Thomas Hanley, who were father and son. This father and son duo became angry and started to plot their revenge. They forced him into their van at gunpoint at McCarran International Airport. The Hanleys asked him to arrange payment for the bombs. Bramlet was told he would be released once they were paid. Bramlet then arranged for a loan to pay his kidnappers. After he made the call, Tom Hanley shot Bramlet. His body was later found a few weeks later by hikers. Today, the Culinary Workers Local 226 is one of the most powerful unions in the country. They ensure the wages of the service workers are higher than the national average. 6. The Hole in the Wall Gang You might have heard of Tony "The Ant" Spilotro. He was the main mob boss trusted to ensure millions of dollars in casinos were safe. Spilotro was hired when someone needed to be murdered. He, later on, created his own criminal business with ex-cops and thieves. It was known as the Hole in the Wall Gang. They did loan sharking and robbed drug dealers. They got their name because they would smash a hole in the walls or ceilings of the stores they robbed to get past the alarm systems. He also operated a jewelry store known as the Gold Rush. In the Gold Rush, he kept most of the stolen items. He was later charged with crimes related to the gang, but the jury didn't reach a verdict. Spilotro on top of this had been having an affair with the wife of a Las Vegas mob boss, Frank Rosenthal. There was an assassination attempt on Frank Rosenthal, which the police believe Spilotro was involved in. Spilotro and his brother went to a house in Indiana for a business meeting and met with a group of mafia hitmen. They were strangled, beaten, and buried in a cornfield. Afterward, most of the gang were given long prison terms because of racketeering or burglary. 7. A Glitch in the Machine Some of the best-kept secrets Las Vegas are the casino glitches. One person, John Kane found a software bug in machines when he played video poker. He found a glitch in the Game King line of video poker machines. It let players replay hands with different wagers. Kane would sit at a machine for hours betting one cent at a time. When he received a jackpot-winning hand, he replayed his hand with a maximum amount of $10 and received payouts of several thousand dollars. Kane's friend, Andre Nestor took part in the glitch. They were arrested but were let go since federal prosecutors weren't able to justify the charges of conspiracy and hacking. His attorney argued that they pressed buttons they were legally allowed to press. 8. Kidnapping Steve Wynn's Daughter Since casino moguls are worth billions, their families can be targets to make money. Steve Wynn received a call from someone who claimed to have kidnapped his daughter. Kevyn (Steve Wynn's daughter), had been kidnapped by 2 armed men from her home. They asked for $2.5 million in ransom for his daughter but took $1.45 million since her father claimed that's all he had on hand. After the kidnappers picked up the money they told Wynn he could find his daughter at McCarran International Airport. She was tied up in a car at the parking lot. One day later, the police received a big tip. A sporting club manager (Ray Cuddy) went into a car dealership to buy a Ferrari in cash. When he went to finalize everything a few days later, the FBI was there. After Ray was arrested, his accomplice Jacob Sherwood was as well. They both received decades in prison related to the kidnapping. Las Vegas Hidden Gems While Las Vegas has its fair share of scandals and secrets to find out about, you won't want to miss out on what's right outside the city like The Valley of Fire. While Las Vegas attractions are exciting, you can check out the Valley of Fire State Park to see some breathtaking rock formations. Akhob Don't miss out on this Las Vegas secret, known as Akhob. This is one of the hidden attractions in Vegas. It's underneath the Louis Vuitton store in the Las Vegas City Center. Find an employee and tell them why you're there and they'll take you to this art exhibit. The Bootleg Canyon Another gem is the Bootleg Canyon. It's known for its history of being a smuggling route for prohibition-era bootleggers. You can go hiking or zip-lining there. Millennium Fandom Bar If you're looking to have a geeky time, be sure to check out the Millenium Fandom Bar. It's right off the strip. You can find lightsaber battles and cosplayers. Container Park Check out the container park for a kid-friendly atmosphere. You can find plenty of boutique shops and restaurants within shipping containers. Dream Catcher Sunset Tour If you're a fan of helicopters, don't miss out on the Dream Catcher Sunset Tour. You'll fly over the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, and the Strip. Pahrump Valley Winery For a winery stop, you'll want to head to Pahrump Valley Winery. It's only about an hour from the strip and is a popular destination in the area. The LINQ Promenade You can find this commercial strip which has over 40 attractions, restaurants, and shops. You can also check out the High Roller Observation Wheel which is part of the LINQ Hotel & Casino. Absinthe Don't miss out on seeing Absinthe at Caesar's Palace. It's Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Cirque de Soleil. This is an 18+ show where you can enjoy adult humor and acrobatics. The Mob Museum After learning about all these mobsters and scandals, why not check out The Mob Museum. You can see plenty of mobster memorabilia here. One such item is the wall from the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Red Rock Canyon When you need a break from the strip and gambling, make sure to check out the Red Rock Canyon. You can enjoy camping, geology, plants, and wildlife, along with trails for hiking. Stop at the visitor center for information about the park. You can also check out their indoor and outdoor exhibits, along with a gift and book store. You can enjoy dozens of trails, whether you're looking to bike or hike. It's conveniently located just a few miles from Last Vegas. It's considered within the Mojave Desert. You can enjoy limestone, red colors of the stone, and iron concretions.
  3. Crypto theft is on the rise at an alarming rate. Thieves are making the most out of the Covid-19 crisis by scamming people through the dark web. Criminals use phishing, ransomware, and other types of fraudulent techniques to target and lure hardworking people away from their money. Even with today's high tech, digital security measures, savvy and intelligent tech fraudsters find ways to scavenge their way around the marketplace illegally. Prevent yourself from being a target by taking precautionary measures. Stay informed by reading about the biggest scams to hit the cryptocurrency markets. ➀ The Chinese Wotoken $1.1 Billion Pyramid Scheme The nefarious Wotoken grand pyramid scheme defrauded over 700,000 Chinese citizens. Unbelievably, this grand crypto theft was masterminded by only six individuals. Four people have been sentenced to prison: Li Qibing Gao Yudong Tian Bo Wang Xiaoying The Wotoken platform promised high returns for little effort using a purported algorithm trading bots system. Investors received money from new investors in the Wotoken currency WOR as part of an unsuspecting Ponzi scheme. A pyramid scheme is an illegal financial system where investors pay to join a service and reap the profits from subsequent participants. ➁ Plustoken $6 Billion Ponzi Scheme Another widespread crypto theft plague originating from China has been stopped thanks to diligent law enforcement officials. Plustoken promised investors high yield returns on the PLUS token digital currency. This pyramid scheme involved 109 people, including 27 criminal masterminds. Furthermore, six top individuals of the criminal organization are now held criminally accountable for their crimes that mostly affect Chinese and South Korean investors. The fraudsters stole over 200,000 BTC, 26 million EOS, and approximately 789,000 ETH. After they collected the cryptocurrency, they ran off with the money leaving investors bewildered. Plustoken and investors' only communication after the theft was a short note that stated, "sorry we have run." ➂ Covid-19 Scare Techniques and Impersonation of Reputable Organizations Criminals know no bounds, and we've seen their unscrupulous activities flourish during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Emails sent to unsuspecting individuals use the name of leading researchers in health, including The World Health Organization and The Red Cross. Thieves gather personal information and request payment for pandemic related services in cryptocurrency. Virus tracking apps designed with spyware promise enhanced safety, but they have ransomware installed. The insidious app later demands payment in digital money to decrypt users' files. Dark web fraudsters market illicit Covid-19 tests and vaccines, and personal protective equipment. ➃ Decentralized Finance Unsecured Lending Crypto Theft DeFi financial hackers take advantage of the recent rush to supply consumers with lending products outside of traditional banking systems. DeFi networks lack sophisticated customer verification methods and exact regulatory implementations for security, leaving the system vulnerable to theft. Money-grubbing hackers notice when an electronic financial strategy is successful, as is the case with DeFi. With its current open infrastructure, DeFi is left vulnerable to money launderers and other types of criminals partaking in crypto crime. Algorithms on DeFi set real-time rates according to supply and demand. ➄ Bitcoin Impersonators Scam Victims Out of Millions of Dollars One of the most popular schemes is to impersonate a real Bitcoin account. The anonymity of Bitcoin users and the irreversible nature of transactions attract scammers under the guise of not being detectable. There are four main types of Bitcoin fraud: Bitcoin phishing: Victims click a link to a website where they're encouraged to enter their Bitcoin credentials so scammers can steal their money. Fake Bitcoin wallets: People who click on the link that attempts to download malware to the user's device. Bitcoin flipping: Crypto theft occurs when users are encouraged to invest in Bitcoin and receive double their investment. Bitcoin pyramid scheme: Multi-level marketing schemes promise a high-yield return. Investors lose money instead. Bitcoin scams change frequently. You can keep an eye out for the latest crypto scams by using a free service like CryptoScamDB. ➅ Hackers Infiltrate Official Accounts of Prominent People on Twitter Unbelievably, hackers orchestrated one of the largest scams on Twitter. Official accounts sent out tweets requesting Bitcoin payments, and in return, victims would receive double their money. Famous people targeted on the platform included: Bill Gates Barack Obama Elon Musk Kanye West Jeff Bezos Joe Biden Experts conclude that the hack was possible due to the direct attack on Twitter employees who access the social media giant's inner workings. Extra security measures put in place by the company limits access to internal systems. President Donald Trump's account wasn't affected, and his Twitter ID is still active. ➆ CoinCheck Thieves Net Over $534 Million in Brazen Attack Hackers pulled off the most massive heist in cryptocurrency history, netting 523 million XEM tokens from CoinCheck in 2018. Rumors spread, pointing the blame at North Korean criminals, but further evidence suggests Russian and Eastern European origin. Like the Twitter hack, employees of CoinCheck were targeted. Two major viruses, "Mokes" and "Netwire," were detected on the personal computers of CoinCheck personnel. It's believed that the viruses spread through an email to gain access to the exchange's private keys. Both viruses allow criminals to access infected computers remotely. How to Protect Yourself From Crypto Theft There are a few important lessons to take away from the biggest crypto thefts. While cryptocurrency companies strive to stay on top of security, you can help keep yourself safe from criminals by taking a few extra steps to protect yourself, including: Check the credibility of a business. Research the company and look at reviews, business registration, and do an online search. Be wary of uninitiated contact by phone or email. When you're solicited, don't give away your personal information. Don't open strange emails. No matter how good the offer looks, don't open a suspicious-looking email to prevent virus infestation of your device. Use a strong password for your cryptocurrency account. Don't use the same password for other accounts, and don't share your password with anyone. Using common-sense is your best defense from scrupulous criminals stealing your digital currency. Be Smart With Cryptocurrency Keep in mind that crypto crime is a serious threat, but don’t let that stop you from learning more about it.
  4. The idea of robbing a casino for millions of dollars seems like the kind of thing you only see in movies like Oceans 11. But, the truth is, there have been a lot of crazy casino heists throughout history. What are some of the biggest ones? Check out this guide to learn about the wildest casino heists of all time. 1. Bill Brennan Stardust Robbery While some casino heists involve intricate plots and dozens of people working together to make it happen, some are very simple and straightforward, like the Bill Brennan Stardust Casino robbery. In 1992, a cashier at the Stardust Casino named Bill Brennan filled a trash bag full of cash and chips, threw it over his shoulder, and walked right out of the casino. The bag contained half a million dollars worth of cash and chips, and to this day, Mr. Brennan has never been seen or heard from. He's currently on the FBI's Most Wanted list, although rumor has it that his accomplice stole them money and killed him after the heist. Bill's simple and straightforward theft is still one of the most famous casino heist stories of all time. The heist resulted in many casino security standards that are still active to this day. It's highly unlikely that an employee in today's age could pull off this sort of heist, especially considering all the security cameras and extra monitoring that goes on. 2. Crown Casino Heist If you think walking out of a casino with $500,000 is crazy, think again. In the Crown Casino heist of 2013, robbers from Perth, Australia attempted to smuggle away $32 million! This story involves two men, one who was a card dealer for the casino and the other who was a high roller coming in from a foreign country. Their plan for the heist was simple: The casino employee work at the card tables monitoring security cameras while feeding information to the other robber. The idea was to take the money and move it as though it had been won during regular play. Had the robbers kept the amounts small, the casino may not have noticed anything. But of course, greed took over and the player's consistent luck while playing high hands resulted in the floor staff being alerted. The game was ceased and the employee was terminated on the spot. But, since no money actually left the casino, the foreigner was allowed to go home scot-free! This event has also led to stricter security worldwide, as such a loss could have been completely disastrous for the casino. 3. Circus Circus Heist If you think men are the only ones plotting crazy casino heists, think again. In the fall of 1993, a woman by the name of Heather Tallchief had a job driving armored vehicles. One day, instead of bringing her truck full of cash to the bank like she was supposed to, she simply drove away with nearly $3 million in tow. The 21-year-old fled the country with her boyfriend Robert Solis, and the two headed to the Netherlands where they were able to stay hidden for over a decade. In 2005, Heather succumbed to the guilt and actually turned herself in. Her boyfriend still remains at large. 4. London Ritz Heist Armed with a mobile phone, a laser, and a computer, three people set out to rob London's Ritz Casino in 2004 for a hefty sum of $1.9 million. The trio consisted of two Serbian men and one Hungarian woman, and the three set up casino games in a private area and devised ways to cheat on them. The group headed for the roulette tables and used lasers on their cellphones in order to determine the speed of the ball's orbit. This made it easy for them to predict where the ball was likely to land on the orbit. This is another story where their heist likely would have gone unnoticed had they not gotten greedy. But once their winnings hit the million-pound mark, authorities were tipped off. While the three were initially arrested and had their accounts frozen, a judge actually ruled in their favor agreeing that no offense had been committed. The three were even able to keep their winnings, although they've all been banned from casinos for life. Needless to say, they've since updated gambling laws to prohibit the use of cameras around the table. 5. The Soboba Robbery In 2007, employee Robert L. Ramos made off with a little over $1.5 million in cash with his accomplice Eric Alan Aguilera. In his position at the casino, Ramos was responsible for setting up security cameras as well as installing other security measures at the casino- a position that set him up nicely to carry out a robbery. On the day of the heist, the pair simply walked into the casino, sprayed staff with pepper spray and tied them up, stuffed some bags with cash, and then zoomed off in a getaway car. However, the casino staff was able to quickly alert the police, which led to a high-speed chase in the desert. Although Aguilera was initially able to escape, he too was eventually arrested alongside Ramos. 6. The Bellagio Biker Bandit Lastly, we have the story of the Bellagio Biker Bandit. In 2010, Anthony Carleo brazenly rode his bike up to the steps of the Bellagio and walked through the doors with his motorcycle helmet in one hand and a gun in the other. He made his way to the craps table where he quickly cleared $1.5 million in chips and then sped off on his bike before security knew what hit them. Unfortunately, the chips contained tracking devices, so Carleo wasn't able to cash them in. Instead, he attempted to sell them online. This proved to be his downfall, as he sold the chips to an undercover cop and was then sentenced to 27 years in prison. Crazy Casino Heists: What Will the Next One Be? Due to stricter security measures, it's becoming tougher and tougher for people to pull off casino heists like the ones mentioned in this article. Luckily, you don't need to pull off a crazy heist to walk out of a casino with a lot of money. All you need is talent, luck, and a winning strategy. If you want to learn more about the crazy world of casinos and gambling, be sure to check out this article.
  5. Each year, about 42.5 million people visit Vegas, and that number is constantly on the rise. And who can blame them? The lights, the people, the unregulated fun... all of it lends to a city with no rules that basically is a party 24/7. However, what most people don't know is that there's a dark side of Vegas lurking beneath the lights. That's what we're here to talk about today so that you might rethink heading off to Vegas on your next vacation. Before you read on, we want to put a few trigger warnings here. If you are triggered by rape, child abuse, domestic violence, or addiction, you may want to stop reading now. Otherwise, read on to learn more about the dark side of Sin City Las Vegas! Addiction While a bit of gambling is all well and good (and can in fact create a sense of community), it's an addiction that spirals out of control for many. Vegas encourages this addiction because the gambling industry is one of the largest in the state. It generates a lot of revenue, so police and local governments tend to turn a blind eye to gambling addictions. However, gambling is by far the least destructive of all common addictions in Vegas. Alcohol addiction runs rampant in Sin City, and it puts many people on the streets as well as in abusive situations. Additionally, alcohol isn't well regulated in Vegas, which means that there are minors that drink excessively as well as adults. This, of course, leads to more intense lifelong addiction that people struggle to break. Drug addiction is also common in Vegas. Abuse of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and other hard drugs is commonplace in Vegas. This is criminalized in ways that alcohol abuse obviously isn't, but that doesn't make it any less prevalent of an addiction. Police crack down pretty brutally on those who use drugs, though, and many of these people are abused by the authorities as well as society. Homelessness It's estimated that 14,000 people are homeless in Vegas at any given moment. This likely evokes images of people sleeping in bus stops and on the sides of streets, and probably comes as a surprise to you if you've visited Sin City before. You certainly saw very, very few homeless people during your time there, so where did they go? Homeless people in Vegas are actually banned from sleeping on the streets, and crooked cops arrest them constantly and brutalize them. As a result, a huge homeless underworld exists in a place that's invisible to tourists in the flood tunnel system under the city. It's a dark and painful place to live, and diseases are easily spread there. Basically everyone in these pipes uses hard drugs, too, and the majority of those people carry guns. As you can imagine, it's a very violent underworld. One interesting thing to note, though, is that people in the tunnels have actually built homes for themselves there. These people furnish their spaces with actual furniture that others have left in the trash. They often also have trinkets and shelves to hold books and make their spaces feel more comfortable! Prostitution Prostitution has been legalized in Nevada, but that doesn't mean that the industry there doesn't exploit the women (and men) working in it. While sex work is well and good when it's consensual and the worker is enthusiastic about doing it, many people in Vegas have been forced into it because of financial situations and addiction. Worse, others have been forced into it because of pimping and human trafficking. Many tourists who go to Vegas do so to take advantage of the legalized prostitution there. Many of them don't even know that the escorts and hookers they hire aren't consenting enthusiastically since they're trained to act excited in order to avoid abuse and punishment. The Racist History While racism is a prevalent issue all throughout the US, it's particularly bad in Las Vegas. This city was one of the worst during the Jim Crow era, with violence against black people at an all-time high. Today, there's still a strong racial bias among the people in Las Vegas. Certain bars and nightclubs are especially unwelcoming to black people, who also have very little representation in the city government due to gerrymandering and other issues. Black people also constitute the majority of those on the streets due to the housing crisis, which is incredibly sad. Terrible Tourist Behavior Tourists come to Vegas to 'sin,' which is totally fine when they're just gambling, drinking moderately, and having consensual sex. More often than not, though, this isn't what happens. Drunken men beat their wives in hotel rooms much more often than you'd expect, usually as "punishment" for losing money at casino games. There are also instances of tourists disrespecting hotel staff by smearing feces in hotel bathrooms (for what reason, we have no idea) and performing unspeakable acts in public areas. There's also an inordinate amount of violence against sex workers in Vegas. Prostitutes are 60 to 100 times more likely to be murdered than women who aren't sex workers, which is a horrible statistic in and of itself. However, because of the issues with addiction and violence that Vegas has- and the high proportion of sex workers there- prostitutes have an extremely high chance of being beaten, raped, or murdered. The Sin City: Las Vegas While Vegas is inarguably a city of glamor and glitzy neon lights on the surface, it's the host of a much darker underworld. Now that you know the dark side of Sin City Las Vegas, it's time to get some alternative ideas for a good time rather than taking a trip there. visit our free games section to begin playing fun casino games from the comfort of your home. There are even more games here than at a Vegas casino, so you'll still get the variety you crave! When you do gamble online, you can rest easy knowing that you aren't supporting any of the painful industries that help fund problems like addiction and sex trafficking.
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