The Casino Heists That Made the Headlines

The Casino Heists That Made the Headlines

Casinos attract all sorts of crowds, even the criminal ones. It’s no secret that some of the casinos in Las Vegas were funded and run by the mob. But the mob is history today and despite this, organized crime makes the headlines from time to time.

Throughout casino history, there have been a lot of winners and losers, as well as people that have dared to infiltrate such establishments, gather the intel and get away with the prize money and inspire some movie franchises about it. The Ocean’s franchise might be based on some of these heists.
If you’ve ever wondered about the greatest casino heists then we’ll go over them in this article.

The Crown Casino Heist

This is one of the heists that can be considered a part of modern history. The lucky perpetrator got away with $33 million. But it wasn’t the act of one man. 2 were at play during this heist. James Manning was a New Zealand businessman that decided to visit the Crown casino in Australia. He got a sweet deal from a manager as he gave Manning the VIP treatment.

But this was all part of the plan as the manager needed to make it believable. Manning went for blackjack and in just 8 hands he’d won $33 million. The manager singled out the cards and even breached the security cameras. Unfortunately, the smoke and mirrors didn’t work, Manning was caught and removed from the venue. He never cashed out.

Circus Circus Heist

The Circus Circus heist was another heist in casino history. The fact that it was done by a couple makes it even more appealing. Heather and Roberto were the 2 behind it. Roberto was a proven criminal and a convicted murderer. Heather got a job with a company and drove cars that delivered cash to casino ATMs in Vegas.

Her boyfriend made the connection and conveyed the idea. At a routine stop at Circus Circus, she made off with $3 million. Both made it out of the country, but in 2005 she had a change of heart and turned herself in. Roberto was never found and Heather only got a thousand dollars out of it.

The Ritz Heist

The Ritz Casino in London was also a victim of a heist. It took 3 people to figure out how roulette works and they employed the system known as sector targeting. With the help of laser scanners and microcomputers, these people determined where the ball fell. But the people were caught and an investigation was pending. It took 9 months for the police to make a decision and the decision was that no crime had been committed. So, the perpetrators were given back their money. A crisp sum of $1.7 million.

The MIT Blackjack Team Heist

Bill Kaplan was the mastermind of this heist and he and his team made it off with a nice sum between $22 and $75 million. Card counting was the method that was used in this heist and Kaplan made a team with students from MIT, Princeton, and Harvard that played blackjack in various casinos. They managed to stay under the radar for 2 decades.


It seems that organized crime is something that will show its ugly head once in a while. Casinos are magnets for people looking to bend the law which is why they have strong security measures. The takeaway from these heists is to play casino games responsibly and fairly.

About the author

Jennifer Lynn
Head of Content
Jennifer Lynn has spent 14 years working in the online casino industry, making her a real expert in the field. She's not just skilled at writing about casinos; she also has a deep interest in online gambling games and is a passionate researcher and player. Jennifer offers her expertise on a range of casino games and the smart strategies to use. But her life isn't all about gambling and casinos. She also loves riding horses and practicing yoga, showing that she knows how to balance her professional interests with personal passions.

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