Have you ever wondered if anyone has ever cracked the roulette code?
Well, we can tell you that no-one has ever cracked the code on a perfectly functioning wheel (some people have literally lifted the lid on roulette, but that is another story). The house always has an edge. But there has been plenty of people who have managed to gain an edge over the house by identifiying imperfections in a roulette wheel (this is on the grey side of the law by the way). This is a cat and mouse game in which the casinos produce more and more perfect wheels, and use sophisticated surveillance technology to fight the scammers, and the scammers use more and more sophisticated technology to identify roulette wheel bias.
There is another way to beat the casino, of course. And that is by pure fraud- posting bets after the ball has landed in the pocket, or colluding with the dealer in a fraud team, etc. These methods are all highly illegal, and you’ll end up behind bars if you’re caught doing it. It was claimed that Charles Wells defrauded the Monte Carlo Casino out of 1 million francs in 1891, but they could never prove it. He just said he was lucky. More recently, the Ohio Roulette scam was busted after its members were caught swapping low value chips and cashing them in as high value chips.
There´s also the Monte Carlo roulette scam of 2014-2015 in which 3 men from the UK fleeced the Casino de Monte Carlo out of €3.7 million by swapping chips they had bought for €10 outside the casino with €1000 casino chips once they were inside.
One of the biggest roulette frauds of recent times has to be the Primrose Hill gang from London, who are thought to be one of the biggest gambling cheats in the history of the game. And they did it all playing roulette.
The crooks were caught by the police after a 20-year session taking the casinos to the cleaners.
The gang was directed by Francis Farrugia, of Carole House, Regent’s Park Road, who is said to have made millions by double dealing on roulette tables around the globe.
The roulette fraudster, in his fifties, worked as part of three-man team, along with Italian-born Francesco Baioni, 65, and Frank Camilleri, 61. Over 20 years, the 3 men became the gambling industry’s worst nightmare.
They hopped around the globe, playing roulette in Australia, Macau, Las Vegas and Europe, and employed an illegal method that is called ‘top hatting’, conning croupiers during roulette games by posting a high value chip on top of a winning number after it landed. This technique is also called Past Posting. Even high tech kit like the TCS JohnHuxley roulette wheel won’t protect the casinos against moves like that.
The cheats eventually fell foul of the casino’s security operations and were barred from pretty much every casino in the world, but still managed to play with fake IDs.
As usual, greed led to their downfall. They wanted to go for high stakes and the high stakes are in London. But the casinos there also spend alot of money on their surveillance systems- eventually they were caught.
Camilleri and Baioni were arrested in 2010, and Farrugia was arrested in 2011. Another of the Primrose Hill set, Baioni, had more than 50 fake ID documents.
Baioni and Camilleri got suspended sentences in November 2010 and banned from all casino regulated by the Gambling Commission.
Farrugia got a nine-month suspended sentence at Southwark Crown Court.
Then there’s the £1.3 million won by an Eastern European gang at the Ritz Casino in London who were using technology and a technique called Clocking (which is also known as Roulette Sector Targeting.) Except that this wasn’t officially fraud- the gang were arrested, but the police were unable to prosecute under the laws at the time as they had not physically interfered with the wheel.
When’s the movie coming out I wonder?