The Biggest Casino Scandals to Date

Playing slots and casino games can be lucrative but not everyone that joins in has the best of intentions. Cheaters, manipulators and all sorts of people are drawn to attempting to beat the house by whatever means necessary. Of course, not all of these players have been caught but this article will tell you all about a selection of the most prominent who have.

Casino Scandals

Chip Manipulation

This slippery character started out as a dealer in Vegas, which gave him the chance to observe the action from the other side. This allowed him to spot a vulnerability on the tables and he was brave enough to try it out for himself. Casino owners were actually pretty shocked by how simple his con was, we’d bet they were embarrassed too. So what was his simple trick? It was a case of using brown ($500) chips and similarly coloured red ($5) chips. He would stack these chips with the brown on the bottom, then wait to see the outcome of the game. If his bet was successful, he would reveal the brown chip, if not he would use sleight of hand to switch it out for a red.

The Invention of Card Counting

You’ve probably heard of card counting, as it’s represented in popular culture as a mathematical way to beat the dealer. Edward Thorp is the originator of this tactic and is seen as a bit of a genius in the casino world, of course he’s also banned from most blackjack tables. He devised his theory based on the probability of each card being revealed, using an IBM 704 computer. His method of counting the cards that have appeared and then predicting the ones left in the deck was first published in 1996. Since then, Thorp has raked in the cash from sales of his book while casinos scramble to think up strategies to refute his mathematical system.

Phil Ivey’s Fall from Grace

If you pay attention to the professional poker scene, then you’ll know that Phil Ivey is one of the most successful players in history. He’s a highly decorated player with a massive 10 golden bracelets from the World Series of Poker. With millions of dollars of winnings on his side, you would expect this player to be squeaky clean.

Unfortunately for Ivey, he was caught out by the officials at the Borgata using a highly manipulative tactic. Both he and the makers of the cards in use at the time were sued by the casino for using card discrepancies. Basically, not all of the cards in the deck had the exact same pattern and Ivey was using this to inform him which cards the dealer had.

Casinos have been around for centuries, so it’s not surprising that there have been more than a few scandals over the years. These are some of the highest profile ones but there are many more out there.