7 Most Infamous Gambling Scandals

Every now and then, there’s news about how people have tried to cheat and steal from the casino. Although they were successful but were caught and publicized. 

People have been trying to steal from casinos ever since the beginning of casinos. To note, stealing is a crime. These recorded attempts have been caught, penalized, punished, and kept in prison. 

In movies, it is easily shown that characters steal from the casinos and easily they make an escape.

But to be honest, casinos are filled with security cameras, top-notched security personals. 

 But, here we provide a list of gambling scandals that have been recorded. So Baazigars, let’s get into it.

The MIT Blackjack Team

The MIT Blackjack team were a group of students from Harvard University who used card counting and sophisticated strategies to beat casinos at blackjack.

Bill Kaplan, a 1980 Harvard MBA graduate who had run a successful blackjack team in Las Vegas three years earlier. Kaplan had earned his BA at Harvard in 1977 and delayed his admission to Harvard Business School for a year.

When he moved to Las Vegas and formed a team of blackjack players using his own research and statistical analysis of the game.

Using funds he received on graduation as Harvard’s outstanding scholar-athlete. Kaplan generated more than a 35 fold rate of return in fewer than nine months of play.

The movie ‘21’ was released in 2008 on the basis of this event.

Inside Job

A software engineer named “Ron Harris” is a software engineer who was in charge of writing anti-cheating software codes for the Nevada Gaming Board.

Harris was very unique about rigging too many machines and ended up setting his mystery code on 30 machines

He became able to maintain attention off himself, whilst nonetheless pulling in some money for his efforts. He ended up with a few hundred thousand greenbacks.

But things might eventually come crashing down, as they continually do. Harris’s mystery turned into found out when one among his companions were given caught trying to cheat in a sport of keno. They have been gambling in Atlantic town.

In 1996, Harris pleaded guilty to doing so and was sentenced to 7 years of prison time.

Notorious counterfeiter Louis ‘the Coin’ Colavecchio

Louis Colavecchio, known as “the Coin,”, a renowned counterfeiter who used fabricated slot machine coins to win thousands of dollars from Vegas casinos without betting any real money.

In 1997, he was convicted and sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for his manufacturing of the coins. New Haven Register reported he had 750 pounds of coins in his car when he was arrested in Atlantic City.

Colavecchio was arrested again at age 76 last year in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, for counterfeiting 2,400 fake $100 bills.

Illegal Gambling Scheme 2016

Cantor Gaming, a sportsbook operator, was involved in a large illicit gambling and money laundering scam from 2009 to 2013.

Michael Colbert, the company’s former director of risk management, and his staff knowingly took significant illegal deposits from out of state and processed the illicit winnings. Two unlicensed bookies were also able to launder money through the company thanks to the employees.

In a 2012 investigation, the Las Vegas Sun stated that more than $2.8 million was recovered and 25 people were arrested, including Colbert.

In 2016, Cantor Gaming, now known as CG Technology, agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle the claims.

Colbert pled guilty in 2013, faced up to 5 years in prison.

William John Brennan and $500,00 chips and cash 

Despite the presence of cameras in casinos, William John Brennan managed to remain undetected. Brennan worked at the now-demolished Stardust hotel on the Las Vegas Strip as a sportsbook cashier.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Brennan walked out of the casino in 1992 with $500,000 in cash and chips in a bag and was never seen again.

Following a “Monday Night Football” telecast, he was assigned to count money at the sportsbook, according to News 3 Las Vegas.

The fact that no cameras picked up his leaving was perhaps the most perplexing aspect, according to reports. A warrant for his arrest was issued, but the case has remained unsolved for nearly 30 years.

Richard Marcus and past posting technique

Richard Marcus obtained work as a blackjack and baccarat dealer after becoming homeless after relocating to Las Vegas. According to his own website, as he learned the ins and outs of the games. He discovered ways to trick the system.

One of his most successful con jobs was “past posting,” or late betting, in which he’d bet small amounts, wait to see if he’d won.

He, then switch out low-denomination chips for higher-denomination chips to collect large payments. His deception might turn a $300 victory into a $10,000 win in a matter of seconds.

According to CNET, he was eventually apprehended by law enforcement but never punished, despite defrauding casinos of more than $5 million.

Marcus now works as a casino security consultant and sells books about his exploits.

John Kane and “glitched” slot machine

John Kane was able to earn more than $500,000 playing video poker. He exploited a software fault identified in machines across the country.

Kane accidentally uncovered a bug in the Game King brand of video poker machines which allowed players to repeat hands with varied base stakes.

Kane stayed at a machine for hours, betting one cent at a time, and when he finally hit the jackpot. He could replay the hand with a maximum stake of $10, perhaps winning $10,000 or more.

After federal prosecutors failed to justify accusations of hacking and conspiracy against Kane and his friend Andre Nestor, who also took part in the plan, they were both released.

Kane’s counsel stated, “All these men did was simply push a succession of buttons that they were lawfully permitted to push.”


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