Casino not liable in unshuffled cards case

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — An Atlantic City casino does not have to pay $1.5 million won by a group of gamblers who realized the cards had not been shuffled, and can move to recover more than $500,000 it already paid them, a judge ruled Friday.

Superior Court judge James Isman ruled that because the cards had been unshuffled, that made the game of mini-baccarat in April 2012 illegal under state casino rules.

“We were 100 percent vindicated by Judge Isman’s ruling,” the Golden Nugget said in a statement.

A lawyer for several of the defendants declined to comment.

Fourteen players racked up $1.5 million in winnings over 41 straight hands when they realized the cards were coming out in a specific pattern. Many of them quickly upped their bets from $10 a hand to $5,000.

The problem was that a Kansas City playing card manufacturer that sold decks of cards guaranteed to have been pre-shuffled did not do so in this case. The company, Gemaco, admitted in court it had erred in providing cards to the casino. A Golden Nugget lawyer said a confidentiality agreement it had reached with the card company prevented him from commenting on the lawsuit’s disposition.

The casino sued the 14 gamblers for the return of money paid out and seeking to be absolved of having to redeem the outstanding chips. The players countersued, alleging, among other things, that the casino illegally detained them.

The illegal detention claim remains pending.

A preliminary court ruling two years ago went against the casino, which said it would appeal. But hours later, owner Tilman Fertitta overrode his lawyers and said the casino would pay the remainder of the disputed winnings. That deal fell apart days later when some of the gamblers refused to dismiss their claims against the Golden Nugget.

“Remarkably, and despite this generous proposal, the gamblers and their lawyers steadfastly refused, and selfishly wanted more damages than just the gambling winnings,” the casino said in its statement. “Instead of walking away with over a $1.5 million win, the gamblers must now return all of their gambling chips to the Golden Nugget. There are obvious lessons to be learned by all sides as a result of this incident. Unfortunately for the gamblers, it cost them over $1.5 million.”

In Friday’s ruling, Isman dismissed a racketeering count against the casino.

———

Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Talk to us

More in Local News

Zachary Robbins
Marysville superintendent could start a month early

A June start means Zachary Robbins could weigh in on a $13.5 million budget shortfall and a parental consent policy for clubs.

Arlington
Driver dies after rollover crash at Smokey Point

The deceased man, 25, reportedly sped off from police before crashing into a nearby utility pole. A woman, 19, was injured.

Epic Ford on the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way in Everett is closed. The dealership has been in business for more than 50 years. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
After 50 years, Everett’s Epic Ford dealership closes shop

It opened in 1971, when gas guzzling muscle cars like the Ford Mustang still ruled the road.

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

Marysville
Smokey Point Boulevard stretch closed for crash investigation

The road was closed between 136th Street NE and 152nd Street NE after a possibly fatal collision.

The Mountain Loop Highway between Darrington and Granite Falls remains closed beyond Barlow Pass. (Snohomish County)
Oops, Mountain Loop Highway only partly open

A miscommunication led Snohomish County to misstate how much of the road is open.

Monroe High School with (inset) a Facebook video screenshot from Nov. 10, 2021, which showed a white student repeatedly using racial slurs in a confrontation with a Black student.
‘It makes me angry’: Black students in Monroe report persistent racism

“Please help stop this racism,” a first-grade student told the Monroe school board Monday. Other kids reported racist slurs.

Destiny Conner, 13, takes tags off of clothing at the new Volunteers for America storefront on Monday, May 16, 2022 in Sultan, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At Sultan’s only thrift store, teens learn teamwork, job skills

Teens with the Sky Valley Youth Coalition “stepped up and created the store” on Main Street.

Joshua Freed
Ex-Bothell mayor accused of misleading real estate investors

One Snohomish couple sued Joshua Freed after losing a $300,000 investment in a development project.

Most Read