Niko Tosa and his two companies made £1.3 million ($1.6 million) from London’s Ritz casino in 2004, prompting Scotland Yard to investigate. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Make money at the Ritz
The gambling world is full of mysterious, frightening and wonderful stories, from bizarre bad beats to hair-raising robberies, murders and even ghosts. But when it comes to beating roulette, the story of a Croatian mastermind who claims he won millions through sheer mental concentration comes to mind.
Not much is known about the man named Niko Tosa, a pseudonym used to conceal his identity, except that he lives in a small coastal village south of Dubrovnik. Tosa is said to be in his 50s, comes from a prominent family and regularly uses fake names to visit casinos around the world.
arrested after making £1.3 million ($1.6 million) at London’s Ritz casino
Nearly 20 years ago, Niko Tosa and his two partners, a Serbian businessman named Nenad Marjanovic, and Livia Pilisi, a 32-year-old Hungarian, were arrested after stealing 1.3 million pounds ($1.6 million) in the now-closed London Ritz Casino had earned.
Initial theories about the trio’s tactics even called for the use of lasers and microcomputers to predict the wheel movements. But after a nine-month investigation with no further leads, Scotland Yard finally closed the case.
Now, however, it seems as if the three have overcome the odds with far simpler means: sheer mental focus.
Arrested on suspicion of “deception”.
According to Tosa, there are only two things needed to beat the odds at roulette: finding a table that has a flaw that reduces randomness and mentally estimating where the ball will go.
Tosa claims that the condition of the wheel is important because those that have a slight defect or bias will reduce the randomness of where the roulette ball will land. By watching the wheel and ball before the bets were made at the last second, Tosa and his companions were able to predict correctly.
Tosa had largely flown under the radar before pocketing the £1.3 million ($1.6 million) from London’s Ritz casino in 2004. After visiting the casino, Tosa, Marjanovic and Pilisi attracted the attention of security personnel several nights in a row during their visit.
Tosa entered the casino and scanned the room before choosing a table
Security watched with cameras as Tosa entered the casino and scanned the room before selecting a table. According to Tosa, he chose tables that he had been successful at before but had been moved to another location in the casino.
Every night, the trio followed a similar pattern: Just before the bets were closed and the ball was in motion, they placed a bet. Over several nights, they managed to increase their winnings to 1.3 million pounds ($1.6 million).
When they returned to the Ritz the following evening, the three were met by the police and arrested on suspicion of “deception.”
Get away with the money
Police searched the three because they believed they would find hidden devices; However, none were found. They also searched their hotel rooms, but all they found was money and a list of casinos with pros and cons.
To find evidence of the “deception,” police even dismantled the roulette table, believing they would find a hidden device inside. They searched through security footage and questioned the dealer at the table, but nothing came up.
They were free to leave with their winnings
After a nine-month investigation, Scotland Yard returned the money to Tosa, Marjanovic and Pilisi and told them they could move on with their winnings.
After the incident, many casinos worked to improve their wheels, such as adding wavy pockets to increase the amount of time the roulette ball bounces around.
Tosa is undeterred by these methods and has previously visited casinos around the world undetected under false names and disguises. He has hinted that he is planning another international casino tour where he will no doubt use his mental focus to beat the house once again.