Students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other Boston-area universities conducted one of the most successful scams in casino history, and how they did it is entirely legal, though it won't win you any friends in the casino industry.
In the early 1990s, the
MIT Blackjack Team
used card counting and a mathematical model to score millions of dollars from Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, the Bahamas and other casinos worldwide. To prevent detection, they worked in teams, coordinating in ways that made it difficult for dealers and casino security to spot their scheme. Their winning also came with the perks offered by casinos, including luxury suites and a VIP treatment.
Eventually, casinos caught on and began banning individual members from gambling. Although card counting is not illegal, players could be arrested for trespassing if a casino blacklists them. Former members also tipped off the Griffith Agency, an investigative service that works with casinos to spot disproportionately successful player, on the identities of members of the MIT Blackjack Team.
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