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Judge Breathes New Life Into Case Of Unshuffled Cards At Golden Nugget Atlantic City

Group Of Gamblers Will Have June Decision Reconsidered


Late last month, a judge in New Jersey granted a motion to reconsider a June decision that sided with the Golden Nugget over a group of gamblers who took the joint for $1.5 million after noticing that a deck of cards in mini-baccarat had not been shuffled, according to the Associated Press.

In June, an Atlantic County Superior Court Judge said that the casino didn’t have to pay because the game was illegal under state gaming regulations.

Two years ago, a lower court ruling sided with the gamblers, but that was overturned. According to the report, lawyers for the Golden Nugget are “shocked” that the June decision was overturned.

On the night of April 30, 2012, 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 mistake in providing the cards to the Golden Nugget.

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.