Comments or Questions?

Hoofa's Visitors...

Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

"This is the end result of all the bright lights... and the comp trips, of all the champagne... and free hotel suites,
and all the broads and all the booze. It's all been arranged just for us to get your money.
That's the truth about Las Vegas. We're the only winners. The players don't stand a chance. "

-- Sam "Ace" Rothstein, Casino, 1995

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cranberry Caper Solved....

It looks like the Bellagio heist has been solved.  It turns out it was not organized crime, but a 29 year old degenerate gambler who apparently owed the wrong people a lot of money.  It sounds like this capture was a combination of good police work combined with this jackass not being able to keep his mouth shut.  For more information on this story check this link attributed to the Las Vegas Sun:

This is the suspect (innocent until proven guilty, don't forget)

Personally, I think MGM Resorts and Bellagio security should be embarrassed for letting something like this happen in the first place.  Here are two questions that would like to have answered:

I understand that the Bellagio takes huge action at its table games, but to have $25k chips on a regular craps table on the main casino floor seems like insanity to me.  I can understand these chips in the high limit parlor, but out on the main floor?  Why are these needed?  Just to color up a big better?

How does a guy walk into a casino wearing a motorcycle helmet at 4:30 am and not get immediately accosted by security?  The videos of this clown sauntering in and out of the Bellagio are ridiculous.  The entire Bellagio security team working during this heist should be fired or at least reassigned to Circus Circus.

Personally, I think the Bellagio/MGM were screwed on these chips.  Had this guy not been such a jackass I think these chips could have been circulated back into the casino -- perhaps not the full amount but certainly enough to make it all worthwhile.  With Chinese New Year going on and the right contacts within Asian organized crime, these chips could have been laundered right back into the house.

I welcome any and all opinions on this heist, but your commentary will be deleted if you cannot put together a rationale and organized opinion.  Agree with me or disagree with me, no problem -- just state your case in a civilized manner.

One more thing -- I love doing this when I go to the Bellagio:  When on the casino floor walk up to any person that looks like a supervisor or floor person.  Ask them the following:

"Excuse me, can you direct me to the craps table that got robbed for $1.5 million? I would like to take a picture of it."

Just wait to see the reaction you will get.  It is so damn funny.  Let's just say they are not happy with these types of questions...


  1. Jimmy, I agree with you. If this guy was smart he could have flushed the chips through the system undetected this week. I was a Cosmo two weeks ago and one guy had over 300K in chips out on the baccarat table and the guy was a "holer" and kept putting and taking chips out of his pockets. lets be honest MGM does not have RFID in the chips, but I bet they do going forward. Hell he was comped rooms at the casino and they did not know till he sold 5 chips to a police officer. Love the BLOG.

  2. Lax security? Yes, for the entering with face concealed and for not having a second set of doors, but otherwise security did the right thing: no unnecessary gunplay in the casino.

    Its well known that Bellagio and Venetian each over bank their craps tables. Its a matter of pride perhaps. I don't see anything particularly wrong with it.

    Regs require ALL casinos to have two sets of chips so play can continue, old chips retired ... and therefore massive chip robberies are rendered useless since phone calls and faxes make the Bellagio chips uncashable elsewhere within minutes.

    Sports bettor? Or gambling via Markers?

  3. So apparently he was able to sell one Cranberry for 10k and he seems to have left 16 of them with his girl friend. Now 16 is a strange number: did he in fact leave 20 with her but she was able to move four of them? Would be difficult with all that publicity, so maybe it was just 16 that he gave her.

    Talk about desperate measures! He was sure to be caught.

  4. hahaha..I laughed out loud reading your question to the Bellagio sup's! That would be classic.

    I can't believe how bold (or stupid) this guy was by taking pictures of those chips and emailing them to some stranger on the interwebs.

    In my opinion, he either:
    1. Wanted to get caught because he was feeling the heat or just couldn't take the stress.
    2. He really IS that dumb!

  5. You would think that they would be more careful after Danny Ocean ripped that place off.

  6. The details and tidbits that keep coming out about this story are amazing. So, this clown gets away with a perfect robbery.

    Then he has to the gall to go back in the Bellagio with his nose wide open and play such big action that he is practically allowed to live at the joint for a week -- fully comped of course.

    The robbery is bad enough, but then for this guy to use his stolen winnings right in front of the people he robbed is just so brazen. He must have been laughing his ass off in his comped suite while enjoying a $1000 room service dinner one night.

    Not to mention selling chips in the casino to an "Asian man with sunglasses." I mean where's the laugh track?

    Had Carleo not been so stupid and kept his mouth shut, these chips could have been moved. Not the entire amount, but at least $500k. Clearly MGM/Bellagio security had no clue how to deal with this situation.

    Meanwhile MGM/Bellagio is very effective at tossing out advantage BJ players who ramp up a bet every once in a while. Nice priorities there...

  7. An armed robbery is not an everyday affair, but a bored suit backing off someone who suddenly raises his betting levels is entertainment for the floorman who knows that an armed robbery is covered by insurance but advantage players can siphon off funds.

  8. It seems his lawyers are starting some mouthings about an oxycontin induced mental crisis.

  9. I deal craps at the bellagio. Because of the high-end poker play there we get guys playing 25,000 all the time. You have to have them on the game. Phil Ivey can walk up and win or lose a couple million in minutes. If we didn't have them he would go somewhere else. We knew who did it a week after it happened. He was stuck 130,000 and never had a buy-in or a marker. Duh, what an idiot