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Golden Nugget Atlantic City Wins Favorable Ruling In Case Of $1.5 Million Baccarat Scandal

Judge: Casino Doesn't Have To Pay Gamblers Who Noticed Faulty Deck


On Friday, a judge ruled in favor of the Golden Nugget Atlantic City in a high-stakes court battle over more than $1.5 million in scandalous mini-baccarat winnings.

On the night of April 30, 2012, a group of 14 gamblers noticed that cards being used for mini-baccarat were not shuffled. They increased their bets from $10 to $5,000 a hand, eventually taking the house for a massive sum. They cashed out $558,900, but there was $977,800 in chips the casino refused to redeem.

The Golden Nugget claimed the game was illegal because the cards were not pre-shuffled, like the card manufacturer—Gemaco—had said they would be. Gemaco admitted that it had made a grave mistake in providing the cards to the Golden Nugget.

Side note: Gemaco is the same manufacturer of cards that was named in the Phil Ivey, Borgata scandal. In that case, the poker pro allegedly noticed manufacturing flaws in the side of the cards, using the edge to win $9.6 million. The Borgata sued Ivey for all of the winnings.

Back to the Golden Nugget case.

In August 2012, a court ruled in favor of the gamblers and said the Golden Nugget had to pay the remainder of the winnings. The casino said it would appeal, but the owner of the casino—Tilman Fertitta—offered to settle for the full amount as long as the gamblers dropped other claims against the casino, which included allegations of illegal detention and racial discrimination. Originally, the casino suspected that an elaborate scam was being run. All of the gamblers are of Asian descent.

The gamblers declined to settle, and instead sought not only their prize money, but additional damages as well. An attorney from one of the gamblers told the Press of Atlantic City that the Golden Nugget was withholding key information pertaining to the case.

“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 a statement after last week’s ruling. “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…unfortunately for the gamblers, it cost them over $1.5 million."

It’s unclear if the gamblers will continue with the case.



over 6 years ago