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​​​Famous Casino Heists: Real-Life Ocean’s Eleven Stories

We’ve all heard about bank heists that have inspired famous movies. In the past, many casinos have been subject to robberies. It may seem that a casino robbery is easier than a bank robbery. However, a casino heist is not an easy thing to attempt. After all, casinos are usually crowded and have security guards and many surveillance cameras. However, some people have committed casino heists of great magnitudes. The heists have been of various types – while some included armed thieves and masks, others included technologies that allowed them to walk away with millions. Let’s look at the world’s most significant casino heists, which resulted in millions in stolen funds and, in some cases – famous films. 

The Bellagio Heist

One of the most popular all-time casino heists has to be the Bellagio Heist. Bellagio Resort is one of the largest casinos in Las Vegas, which includes a casino and a hotel. The Bellagio is a popular destination for luxury fans, as the resort offers many high-end designer stores, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gucci. No wonder it became the interest of a group of robbers in 2010. A group of armed robbers entered the Bellagio casino and stole roughly 1.5 million worth of casino chips. However, the heist didn’t end successfully. While not initially, later, the police recovered the stolen casino chips and detained some of the robbery suspects. In 2019, there was another robbery attempt at Bellagio casino. This time, it was one person who attempted to rob the Bellagio poker room during peak hours. However, the suspect got into a gunfight with the police and died the next day from his injuries.

The Stardust Heist

The Stardust heist was another casino heist that took place in Las Vegas, the true paradise of land-based casino fans. Stardust Casino was a part of the Stardust resort and offered a range of slot machines and table games. The famous Stardust heist happened in 1992 when a group of people stole around $500,000 from the casino. It’s safe to say that the robbers knew what they were doing, as they disconnected the security cameras and stole the money from the money-counting room. This story was the basis of the world-famous movie “Casino”, starring Sharon Stone and Robert De Niro. The Stardust casino closed its doors in 2006 and was replaced by Resorts World.

The Crown Casino Heist

The Crown casino heist takes us away from the United States to Melbourne. This is definitely a heist like no other. The Crown Casino initially opened in 1994 in a temporary location. However, it reopened its doors in 1997 after a successful relocation. The Crown Casino was the first casino of Crown Resorts, which has become an international brand known for its resorts and casinos. What really makes this heist different from others is that a VIP player initiated the robbery. The player worked his charm to distract the dealer while his accomplices swooped in and changed the dealer’s deck of cards to a faulty deck. The thieves initially walked away with around 32 million. 

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It’s not a surprise that the VIP player was able to distract the dealer. After all, casinos treat VIP players differently by offering exclusive casino bonuses, dedicated assistance around the clock and other benefits. Here, you can find out more about the best VIP casino offers and other perks of being a loyal player at an online casino. 

The Ritz Casino Heist

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when thinking about the Ritz? It certainly has to be glamour and sophistication. That brings us to the famous Ritz Casino heist. Ritz Casino has many locations as part of the Ritz Casinos and Hotels, but this heist took place in its London location. There’s a reason why we mentioned sophistication since this heist is not your average casino robbery. In 2017, a small group of men cheated the casino of over 1.3 million pounds by using various technologies. With the help of these technologies, the thieves gained an advantage at roulette tables. That is where they achieved their illegal wins. In this heist, the thieves were eventually caught and brought to justice.

The Casino de Charlevoix Heist

The Casino de Charlevoix heist takes us to Quebec in Canada. The casino is a part of the Hotel- Casino de Charlevoix, a five-star resort offering fine dining and a luxurious gambling experience. In 2011, the casino was subject to an armed robbery. Compared to a few other heists we discussed in this article, the Casino de Charlevoix robbery was more similar to a bank heist. Here, the thieves attacked the casino personnel and visitors with pepper spray. They walked away with around $800,000 from robbing the casino. Later on, the police caught a few of the robbers who took part in the heist and were able to retrieve a portion of the stolen funds.

The Grand Casino Basel Heist

The Grand Casino Basel is an established casino based in Switzerland. The casino is well known for its luxurious interior and top-tier gambling experience. In 2013, a group of armed men decided to rob the Grand Casino Basel. To disguise their identities, the thieves were wearing masks. In this heist, the robbers were heavily armed, which made it an even scarier experience for the casino staff, whose lives were at risk. The robbery was worth about 150,000 Swiss Francs, equivalent to $160,000 at the time. While the local authorities performed a thorough investigation, only a few of the criminals were caught.

The Soboba Casino Heist

The Soboba Casino heist is yet another casino robbery that took place in the United States. The Soboba Casino is part of a luxurious resort in California, over 470,000 square metres in size. The resort includes the finest restaurants, top-tier shopping and gambling experiences. In 2007, a group of thieves robbed this famous casino. The robbers very abruptly entered the casino and fought off the security personnel. While the exact stolen amount was never disclosed to the public, the estimates were about a couple of million. However, eventually, the police captured the robbers and were able to retrieve a portion of the funds.

The Tiger’s Treasure Chest Heist

Las Vegas is the home of some of the most popular casinos worldwide. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Las Vegas is one of the top places for attempted robberies. And in many ways, this is one of the more scandalous heists. The heist was perpetrated in 1993 by a former employee of two established casinos – Casino Mirage and Casino Las Vegas. The former employee had a long experience as a cashier, and he decided to use his knowledge quite mischievously. He had filled a bag with low and high-value casino chips and walked out of the casino. Since he was a casino employee, it initially didn’t create any suspicion. However, he tried to cash out the casino chips at many other casinos in the Las Vegas strip, but unsuccessfully. Due to the various security measures, the casinos didn’t accept the stolen chips and informed the Mirage casino of the theft. This story stands out for the unique insider element, where the thief was an employee who walked out of the casino with his stolen goods.

The Monte Carlo Casino Heist

It’s well-known that Monte Carlo Casino is one of the world’s most recognised casinos. Based in Monaco, it’s also one of the most elite casinos that has welcomed visitors for over 150 years. The casino is well-known for its various gambling events, such as poker tournaments. In 2016, one of its poker tournaments became a part of a heist, which is almost movie-like. The criminals taking part in the robbery had planned it out to the last detail. Some of them walked into the casino, while others were already in the casino using different disguises to blend in with the crowd. The robbery resulted in about $1.1 million of stolen funds. Then, it continued on the road, where the police chased the robbers in a high-speed car chase.

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The Marina Bay Sands Heist Attempt 

This time, we won’t be talking about a heist but rather a casino heist attempt. The Marina Bay Sands is one of the most significant landmarks in Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands is a resort with luxurious restaurants, spas and a casino. In 2012, a man decided to try his luck and cheat the casino. His plan was simple – he attempted to steal the casino chips from a baccarat game table. However, he didn’t succeed due to the casino’s security systems. Like many casinos, The Marina Bay Sands has hundreds of cameras to protect the casino from thieves and scammers. 

The Ocean’s Eleven Heist 

Last but not least, we can’t talk about casino robberies without mentioning The Ocean’s Eleven heist. The Ocean’s Eleven heist is probably the most well-known name when talking about casino heists. But, interestingly enough, The Ocean’s Eleven is a fictional heist, not an actual one. The simple reason why the name rings a bell to most people is because of the popular films with the same name. The original Ocean’s Eleven movie premiered in 2001, but there have been several sequels at a later point. While the heist itself is fictional, the basis for it was the numerous heists in the Las Vegas strip. As discussed in this article, many Las Vegas casinos have been the subject of robberies of different magnitudes. The Ocean’s Eleven films interestingly look at the security elements of a casino and the potential weak spots thieves can utilise to achieve the heist.