The Biggest Casino Robberies

There are many variations of the act of robbery. However, it is the act or several acts of theft with the intent to harm or kill one's victims. The most common type of robbery involves a person taking property belonging to someone else and using force if necessary. There are also some kinds of robbery that can be considered extortion, where the victim must do something in order to avoid prosecution against them.

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The Biggest Casino Robberies

Attacking a casino is a risky proposition, and it’s no different from any other type of robbery. However, it was an act that changed the course of history forever. Here are some of the most famous examples of casino robberies:

- The Beverly Hills Casino Robbery: On December 20th, 1971, three armed men entered the Beverly Hills Hotel and Casino in Los Angeles, California. They made their way to the cashier cage and took hostages after waving their guns around. The robbers demanded $1 million from the cashiers; however, they only received $400,000 in ransom.

- The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping Incident: In 1932, Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., father of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh (who was just 21 months old at the time), was kidnapped from his home in New Jersey by Bruno Hauptmann. This event led to a trial (which lasted five years) where Hauptmann was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering the toddler.

Circus Circus Heist

The Circus Circus Casino was robbed in 1981 by the Hughes brothers, a pair of cousins from Texas. They stole $1.5 million from the casino and fled to Mexico. It was the largest robbery ever committed at an American casino, but it didn't get them very far because they were caught within two years and sentenced to a lengthy prison term for life without parole.

Ritz Casino Robbery

The Ritz Casino Robbery was committed by American criminals George Joseph Smith, John Herbert Dillinger, and Frank Nash on June 2, 1950. It is widely considered the largest robbery in history.

During their six-day crime spree, the three men stole approximately $2 million from the casino before being killed in shootouts with the police or each other.

The Crown Casino Heist

The most famous robbery in Australian history was the Crown Casino heist. On Nov. 28, 1995, thieves entered the building and stole a total of A$18 million (about US$12 million) at gunpoint from gambling tables in the casino. They took over 100 kilograms of gold bullion as well as $5 million in cash. The thieves were later apprehended by police, but not before they had escaped to an outlying suburb and spent the money on luxury items such as cars, homes and boats.

Bill Brennan Heist

Bill Brennan's heist is considered one of the most successful casino robberies in history. The robbery was carried out on June 15, 1978 at the Stardust Casino in Las Vegas. This event has come to be known as "the crime of the century."

The heist was a three-man job and involved $5 million worth of stolen property and eventually led to a total of $200 million worth of stolen property in later years. One year after the robbery, Bill Brennan was arrested for stealing 3 cars from a dealership in Carson City, Nevada. Three years after the robbery, Brennan was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his part in the heist. He served 14 years before being pardoned by former President Jimmy Carter and released on parole.

Bellagio, Las Vegas Robbery

The Bellagio robbery was the one of the most famous casino robberies in history. On June 1, 2007, it occurred at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bellagio is home to several world-famous luxury stores, like Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton. A lone gunman walked into the casino from the sports book on a Friday night and shot two guards, then proceeded to rob 11 people at gunpoint before finally being shot by police officers.

The shooting led to an investigation where more than 20 officers were placed on leave for possible involvement in the robbery or its coverup. One of these officers was revealed to be a security guard who played an active role in the botched investigation of Stephen Paddock's mass shooting that happened less than three months later on October 1st at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.


There are some casino robberies that have become so famous that they have been turned into movies. However, the vast majority of casino robberies are still relatively unknown.

The most famous casino robberies are the Bellagio robbery in Las Vegas and the incident at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. These two incidents were so well-known that Hollywood decided to turn them into movies.

In the Bellagio robbery, a group of armed men raided the casino and held several people hostage. They demanded an undisclosed amount of money from the casino and took off with an estimated $1.6 million in cash. The Sands Casino incident occurred on June 14, 2003 and it was a mafia shakedown where the mafia took control of the casino for a short period of time.

In both these incidents, there were armed groups that took hostages. The main difference between these two incidents is the level of violence involved.