Biker Bandit Nabs $1.5M in Bellagio Robbery

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on December 15, 2010 6:15 AM

Of course it's not quite as slick, but the latest Las Vegas robbery is about as close as you can come to Ocean's Eleven in real life. Las Vegas police say an armed man in a motorcycle helmet robbed the posh Bellagio Hotel Tuesday, escaping with an estimated $1.5 million in casino chips.

And it's not the first time.

The Vegas biker bandit has struck before, reports the Associated Press. Las Vegas police think the same man pulled a similar heist at the Las Vegas Suncoast Hotel & Casino in their poker room. That December 9th robbery netted the robber about $20,000 in chips, Vegas police Officer Barbara Morgan told the AP.

The Bellagio robbery was much more lucrative and quite risky.

According to the report, the Vegas robber held up the craps table at the Bellagio at about 3:50 a.m., then ran through the lobby, pointing his gun behind him before leaping on his bike and roaring off.

The biker bandit might have some difficulty cashing in on his loot. As the AP reports, each casino only accepts its own chips and the Bellagio will be on the lookout for anyone trying to cash in the high-priced chips. The chips stolen were marked at between $100 and $25,000. What the casino would not confirm is whether these chips, like some in town, are embedded with radio frequency devices.

As if the house didn't already have enough of an advantage, the radio frequency chips may make it just that much tougher to beat it. According to Gaming Partners International ("the undisputed leader in RFID casino chips") the RFDI chips can follow movements from table to back office to pit boss to the cashier. The embedded chips allow the house to conduct a chip inventory, read open and closing floats, or gather important player data almost instantaneously. Sounds a bit scary, doesn't it?

So, do the "safeguards in place" at the Bellagio present a problem to the biker bandit? Has he stolen the Mona Lisa of Vegas? That is, something too traceable and of such unique value that it can't really be cashed in? Time will tell.

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