Biggest Gambling Scandals


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Just this past week, we discussed how eight South Korean Buddhist monks are in major trouble for playing high stakes poker with donations that were given to them. The story gets even worse when you consider that a total of $875,300 was wagered during the 13 hours that they were smoking, drinking and playing poker.

Needless to say, the poker monks' have gone down as one of the biggest gambling scandals in history. Staying with this theme, we thought it might be interesting to look at some of the other major gambling scandals that have happened throughout the years.

Priest embezzles $300,000 and loses it all gambling

American priest John Regan certainly wasn't doing the lord's work when he embezzled over $300,000 from Chicago's St. Walter Parrish. And he especially didn't help matters after losing all of the money at an Illinois riverboat casino. After spending some time in jail and apologizing for his sins, Regan tried to get his old job back, but the judge told him to keep working at a factory.

Tran Organization cheats Casinos out of $7m-$20m in Blackjack

In the late 2000's, the Tran Organization formed an elaborate blackjack scam that involved the use of electronics, dealer help, and the art of seduction. As for the latter, Vietnamese hottie Van Thu Tran seduced dealers all over the US and Canada, and used them to help her 44-member group win a fortune from casinos. By the time the Tran Organization was busted, they'd earned somewhere between $7 million and $20 million in profits.

John and Sandra Vaccaro win Millions in a Slots Scandal

Much like with the Tran Organization, the husband and wife team John and Sandra Vaccaro enlisted the help of casino employees to scam casinos out of millions of dollars. They rigged slots machines throughout the 1980's so that they could easily win huge jackpots. Eventually, they were caught, sentenced to jail time, and blacklisted from casinos. Expanding on the latter, Sandra Vaccaro actually became the first blacklisted female in US history (1984).

Mom steals Cancer Donations from Son to Gamble

In one of the more sickening gambling scandals of all-time, Sherry Holcomb stole $15,000 in cancer donations meant for her son. And what did she do with the money? Gambling, of course, as she wagered the $15k in casinos around the New York state area. After it was discovered that she stole her son's cancer donations, Holcomb came clean and begged for forgiveness from the courts; she's still awaiting sentencing at this point.