Legendary Cheaters – Monique Laurent


Back in 1973, a fatally attractive French woman named Monique Laurent managed to rob the Deauville Casino of $1 million in a week. Although she did not work alone, she was the most emblematic figure of the ‘French Cigarette Pack Scam.’

The scam was a pack of cigarettes secretly containing a radio transmitter which could control the roulette ball embedded with a radio receiver. The roulette dealer, a partner, would sneak the ball into play, and Monique would press an invisible button on the pack of the cigarettes to control the dive, giving the ball ninety percent accuracy to land on a group of six numbers. Another crew member would place bets and collect the money.

Casino security was helpless. The roulette was dismantled, the dealer was closely watched, but nothing was wrong.

Monique’s beauty unfortunately put an end to the scam despite herself. The casino owner, overwhelmed by the raven-haired beauty, approached her with direct advances. She turned him down as politely as she could, but the owner got hurt and began to watch her from a different angle. Why was she always standing at the losing table? Why was she always alone? Why was she only placing occasional bets? Something was definitely wrong. Suspecting something in the pack of cigarettes she was always holding, he asked her for a cigarette. Before she could do anything, a police officer confiscated the pack and handcuffed Monique.

This story inspired the film Les Tricheurs (The Cheaters) released in 1984.

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