Monday, January 09, 2017

The Grab Chips and Run Casino-Cheat Scam outdoes the Bet Chips and Run Casino-Cheat Scam...

Big Piles and Big Balls!
and that's not an easy thing to do!

When I was heavily into cheating Las Vegas casinos during the 70s, 80s and 90s, sometimes the heat in casinos that I generated was even too hot for me!

Which meant I had to put casino-cheating to the side--at least for awhile.

And during those lags in the cheating action, I often got bored--until I came up with what I later named the Harley-Davidson Bet and Run Scam. This scam was exactly what I called it: I bet the chips and if I didn't win, I grabbed the chips I'd bet right off the table before the dealer could take them and ran out the door, jumped on the back of a Harley Davidson 1200 and sped outta Dodge.

Read a full description of that move here.

But decades later, a guy by the name of Tony Carleo, who became known as the Bellagio Biker Bandit, outdid even me. He walked up to a craps table at the Bellagio, and without making a single bet grabbed up $1.5 million in chips off the table, ran out the door and jumped on his waiting Harley outside.

His take was mainly in $5,000 and $25,000 chips. I would have thought that it would have been next to impossible to cash out even the $5,000 chips, as the casino would have probably immediately taken them out of circulation and replaced them with a new series of $5,000 chips with a different color, essentially rendering Carleo's stolen chips worthless.

But that didn't happen and Carleo was able to go back into the Bellagio and buy in with them at various tables, then cash out lower denomination chips at the cage. He was able to convert $500,000 of the stolen $5,000 chips into cash.

But the $25,000 chips were a different story.

The Bellagio kept strict tabs on them, so Carleo had to find another way to cash those out.

He actually (if somewhat subtily) advertised them for sale at a discount on poker forums. Of course that was stupid. This eventually led to him getting set up by a Las Vegas Police Department sting operation, and he got busted selling one of the $25,000 chips to an undercover detective.

Well, he should have quit while he was ahead, like any other lucky gambler, and either thrown those $25,000 chips in the garbage or just kept them as a memento of his  brazen act.

But it's just too hard to throw out a million bucks!