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How Not to Rob a Casino

One woman in Sioux Falls, South Dakota will likely see some jail time after a seriously botched casino robbery attempt. Annie Lund walked into the Black Diamond Casino and pulled out a handgun. She demanded money. One casino worker wrestled the gun away from her, causing her to flee. Another chased her out the front door into a nearby parking lot. Police arrested her and she will be tried for first degree robbery.

The police haven’t released a lot of details about Ms. Lund. One wonders what kind of condition she was in to think that walking into a casino with a gun was a plan. Was she drunk? High on drugs? Obviously, she hadn’t really thought this through thoroughly enough. Actually, she hadn’t thought it through at all. There didn’t seem to be a getaway car or driver in sight.

Her lawyer will have an easy time convincing a jury that she wasn’t in her right mind just by presenting the facts of the case. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough to make an incompetence plea stick. The fact that she ran away indicates that she knew she was doing something wrong, and an awareness of wrongdoing is usually all it takes to make a conviction stand.

The heist does bring up an interesting question, though. About twenty years ago, a motorcyclist carried out a series of bank heists in which he aimed a gun at the tellers, took the cash from one drawer, and fled on his motorcycle. Would a method like that work in casinos? At first blush, it seems unlikely. Usually, the cage is in the back, and that’s where the bulk of the money is kept. Stealing chips is useless, as they are easily traceable. Moreover, even if the robber were able to pull off the heist that way, the likelihood of being caught on camera is too high.

In short, if you’re looking to manage a casino heist, you’re going to have to be a little more creative than just waving a gun around and grabbing some cash. You might not have to be as clever as Danny Ocean, but the perfect heist is nearly impossible, and certainly far from simple. If you really want to get money out of a casino, there are two good ways to do it. The first is to become a whiz at poker and win even one of the minor events at the World Series of Poker. The other is to own stakes in the casino. The casino owners are the ones who always take home the cash at the casino.

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