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Thread: Golden Nugget in Atlantic City forgets to shuffle cards, then sues gamblers who beat them

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Golden Nugget in Atlantic City forgets to shuffle cards, then sues gamblers who beat them

    http://deadspin.com/5936313/casino-f...won-15-million

    A group of 14 people were huddled around a mini baccarat table at Atlantic City's Golden Nugget casino in August, when something strange started to happen. The same sequence of cards was dealt twice—then a third time, and a fourth, and so on. Gamblers aren't dumb: they upped their bets from the minimum $10, and kept upping it as the same card sequence kept coming and coming. By the end, after 41 consecutive winning hands, the gamblers were up a total of $1.5 million—and casino security was convinced they were witnessing a heist.

    The winners were questioned—in one Brooklyn man's case, he was woken up in the middle of the night, physically restrained by security, and held in his room without food or water for eight hours while his belongings were searched. They found nothing and had to let him go.

    The casino shortly found out what had happened, and it was much less sinister, if even more unbelievable. They had recently purchased a shipment of playing cards from a Missouri manufacturer, who was supposed to send the cards thoroughly shuffled. This shipment was defective: the cards were completely unshuffled, and the Golden Nugget had put them into play without checking them. The Golden Nugget is suing the card manufacturer, naturally—but they're also suing the gamblers, claiming they shouldn't have to pay out their winnings.

    Says Benjamin Dash, the lawyer representing the gamblers:

    "The Golden Nugget appealed to gamblers to come in and play games licensed and sanctioned by the state of New Jersey," he said. "My clients did exactly that, and then were denied their winnings. There is absolutely no law in New Jersey that would permit the Golden Nugget to declare the game illegal because it failed to provide shuffled cards."

    But in a lawsuit filed against the 14 gamblers in July, that is exactly what the casino seeks, citing state gambling regulations requiring all casino games to offer fair odds - to both sides.

    Believe it or not, this isn't the first time an Atlantic City casino has failed to shuffle its cards. In December, a dealer at the Trump Taj Mahal failed to turn on the shuffling machine, and played for 3.5 hours with unshuffled cards. In that case, the casino was fined and nine employees fired, but there was no attempt to withhold the gamblers' winnings.

    But, then, the Golden Nugget wasn't Atlantic City's lowest-revenue casino in 2011 for no reason.
    Terrible.

    This would be like me playing you in poker, failing to protect my cards and always flashing what I have, and then suing the people who beat me as a result.

    Just more evidence that casinos really, really, really hate when you have the odds in your favor, even if it's completely their fault.

  2. #2
    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
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    This is every gamblers dream scenario. You'd think they'd check the tapes & realize the decks weren't shuffled before committing a kidnapping & unlawful confinement on one of the gamblers. I'm sure there will be a counter lawsuit.
    (•_•) ..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy View Post
    This is every gamblers dream scenario. You'd think they'd check the tapes & realize the decks weren't shuffled before committing a kidnapping & unlawful confinement on one of the gamblers. I'm sure there will be a counter lawsuit.
    Unbelievable that they are doing this. This could turn into a PR nightmare.

    I also can't believe they think they would win.

    Casinos really do some stupid things sometimes. A lot of power trippers there, both in management and regular employees. They often think they're above the law.

    I hope the Nugget suffers for this.

  4. #4
    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy View Post
    This is every gamblers dream scenario. You'd think they'd check the tapes & realize the decks weren't shuffled before committing a kidnapping & unlawful confinement on one of the gamblers. I'm sure there will be a counter lawsuit.
    Unbelievable that they are doing this. This could turn into a PR nightmare.

    I also can't believe they think they would win.

    Casinos really do some stupid things sometimes. A lot of power trippers there, both in management and regular employees. They often think they're above the law.

    I hope the Nugget suffers for this.
    I can't see the guy they kidnapped not suing. Amazing arrogance shown by these people.
    (•_•) ..
    ∫\ \___( •_•)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

  5. #5
    Platinum Rollo Tomasi's Avatar
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    the dealer must have been brain dead not to see the same cards being dealt every hand
    Quote Originally Posted by tony bagadonuts View Post

    Look Corrigan, you've been a sideshow clown around here from the jump
    It's tough to take you seriously when you've made your bones acting the fool.
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    Which one is he?

  6. #6
    Diamond mulva's Avatar
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    "By the end, after 41 consecutive winning hands, the gamblers were up a total of $1.5 million—and casino security was convinced they were witnessing a heist."

    41 consecutive winning hands...lol


    i once won 15 hands in a row in bj

  7. #7
    Two things: I can't believe 14 people were even in the golden nugget and when did this happen? At the beginning of the article it says they huddled around the table in August and paragraph later it says the lawsuit was filed in July??
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  8. #8
    Its robbery that the players have to hire a lawyer to defend themselves.
    Businesses that make money by collecting & selling detailed records of private lives were once plainly described as "surveillance companies." Their rebranding as "social media" is the most successful deception since the Department of War became the Department of Defense.

  9. #9
    Here is a ABC News story on the $1.5 million unshuffled decks of cards win by players at the Golden Nugget in AC. Was it an inside job? My ABC News 20/20 contribution (the Cache Creek Casino getaway) is in the video attached in the article. I contributed to the Tran Organization episode where $40 million was stolen from casinos across the country. Did the "winning" baccarat players at the Golden Nugget use the accounts of the Tran story for their plot to get the casino's loot? Was the AC $1.5 million win a scam? http://abcnews.go.com/US/golden-nugg...1#.UDQdd0fEWsp
    Last edited by JSTAT; 08-21-2012 at 06:08 PM.
    Sharing my love of card counting and casinos without charge. https://twitter.com/Casino_Examiner

  10. #10
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...00b_story.html

    Golden Nugget casino says it will pay $1.5M in winnings in Atlantic City unshuffled cards case

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Hours after a judge ordered the Golden Nugget Atlantic City to let gamblers cash in nearly $1 million worth of chips they won in a card game where the decks were unshuffled, the casino’s owner overruled his lawyers Friday and agreed to make the payments.

    The judge’s decision drew an angry reaction from casino officials, who called it “an ambush” and vowed to file an appeal first thing Tuesday morning.

    But Tilman Fertitta, the Texas billionaire who owns the Golden Nugget, said he decided to pay the winners to make the whole thing go away.

    “Without question, the mini-baccarat game that took place on April 30, 2012, allowed $10 bettors to realize a gambler’s dream and enabled them to beat the house out of $1.5 million,” he said. “Even though we can appeal the court’s ruling and take full advantage of the appellate process and legal system, and tie the matter up in litigation for a number of years, the Golden Nugget is a people business, and is prepared to allow the gamblers — most of whom continue to gamble at Golden Nugget — to realize the gambler’s dream of beating the house.”

    The casino also will let gamblers keep more than a half-million dollars it already paid them from the same disputed games.

    “I wasn’t cheating,” one of the gamblers, 51-year-old Michael Cho of Ellicott City, Md., said after the judge’s ruling. “I didn’t do anything illegal. It wasn’t right for them to get the money.”

    The dispute stems from numerous games of mini-baccarat held at the casino earlier this year. Unbeknownst to either the players or the casino, the cards put into use for the games were not shuffled as their manufacturer, Gemaco Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., had promised.

    Over a speakerphone in the judge’s chambers, the company’s attorney, Jeffrey Mazzola, acknowledged the company had erred.

    “There was a mistake made at the Gemaco facility, which we freely admitted,” he told the judge. “This was a one-time, isolated mistake, but it occurred. It’s supposed to be a game of chance. It changed from a game of chance to a windfall for the individual players. What we have now is individual players coming to the court asking for a free payday based on a mistake that took place.”

    Lawyers for the Golden Nugget said the pattern of cards became apparent to players, who had been wagering $10 a hand and suddenly upped their bets to $5,000 a hand. The cards did not come out of the chute in numerical order, such as 2-3-4-5. Rather, they came out in a predetermined pattern that the manufacturer lists as a proprietary secret, the attorneys said.

    But it did become obvious to the players.

    “Anybody could see that — that was the dream we all look for,” Cho said.

    But Cho said he and the other gamblers still faced risk because they had no idea how long the pattern would endure. It lasted at least 41 hands, during which the players won more than $1.5 million. Despite its suspicion that a sophisticated cheating operation was under way, the casino did not stop the games.

    “We took a chance on every hand we bet, that it wouldn’t change,” he said. “We didn’t know if it was going to change. That’s called gambling.”

    The Golden Nugget had sought a ruling barring the gamblers from cashing in more than $977,000 worth of chips they won from the game but still have in their possession. The casino also wanted the judge to order the return of more than $500,000 in winnings it paid out to some of the winners immediately after the games.

    The judge denied both requests, saying there will be time to address those issues as the lawsuits filed by both sides come to trial. He agreed that the gamblers did nothing wrong, and even though they discerned a pattern, the judge said there was no guarantee it would not change at any moment. Fertitta said the payments to the gamblers would occur on the condition that both sides dropped litigation against the other.

    “It was a rigged game,” casino attorney Louis Barbone said. “We walked in that day believing everything was on the up-and-up. We walked out $1.5 million in the hole.”

    The casino claims the vendor’s failure to shuffle the cards made them “defective” and in violation of state gambling regulations mandating fair odds for both the casino and its customers.

    Fertitta said the proper course for Golden Nugget to recoup its losses was through litigation with the card manufacturer.

    “We have a company we can go back against that has admitted fault,” he said. “But that’s our problem.”

  11. #11
    The Golden Nugget is at fault here, and now they are trying to appear magnanimous.

    All they had to do was shut the game down.

    Their lawyers claim "It was a rigged game". No it wasn't. No one was cheating, and the casino spread the game.

    Maybe the Golden Nugget realizes what a bunch of idiots they look like.
    Businesses that make money by collecting & selling detailed records of private lives were once plainly described as "surveillance companies." Their rebranding as "social media" is the most successful deception since the Department of War became the Department of Defense.

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    NoFraud Poker Room Manager Belly Buster's Avatar
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    WTF were the dealers and floormen / pit bosses / security doing during the game?

    If all the players spotted what was going on, were the staff asleep?

    When the house is getting raped every deal, surely some member of staff should have worked out something was wrong. If the same number in roulette comes up 40 times in a row, would they keep playing off??

    Huge fuck up and big PR disaster as well. Fail.
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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belly Buster View Post
    WTF were the dealers and floormen / pit bosses / security doing during the game?

    If all the players spotted what was going on, were the staff asleep?

    When the house is getting raped every deal, surely some member of staff should have worked out something was wrong. If the same number in roulette comes up 40 times in a row, would they keep playing off??

    Huge fuck up and big PR disaster as well. Fail.


    Amazing that they could let this go on for more than 40 hands and not realize what was happening.

    The pit bosses and dealers in charge must be the world's biggest morons.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Belly Buster View Post
    WTF were the dealers and floormen / pit bosses / security doing during the game?

    If all the players spotted what was going on, were the staff asleep?

    When the house is getting raped every deal, surely some member of staff should have worked out something was wrong. If the same number in roulette comes up 40 times in a row, would they keep playing off??

    Huge fuck up and big PR disaster as well. Fail.


    Amazing that they could let this go on for more than 40 hands and not realize what was happening.

    The pit bosses and dealers in charge must be the world's biggest morons.
    read that they agreed to pay the players. Press release was a silly pr puff piece. The guy who had his room broken into shouldn't settle for his table winnings. I would take that one to trial.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    “I wasn’t cheating,” one of the gamblers, 51-year-old Michael Cho of Ellicott City, Md., said after the judge’s ruling. “I didn’t do anything illegal. It wasn’t right for them to get the money.”
    How weird.

    Tiny Ellicott City, Maryland was in the news for something else recently.

    It was the place where the train derailed and killed those 19-year-old girls sitting near the tracks.

  16. #16
    Final judgement has been entered in the casino's favor. Two interesting facts that involved that I didn't know. The cards come to the casino pre-shuffled in the pack for that game and Fertita offered to pay the players the full sum if they would drop counter-charges versus the casino but they refused. Now, not only do they get nothing, they have to pay back the partial payments they already received.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/judge-...211627077.html

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- 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% 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.

  17. #17
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Players were pretty stupid here.

    They should have accepted the offer to be allowed to redeem their chips and drop their illegal detention lawsuit.

    They got too greedy and got screwed.

    I still think the casino is 100% in the wrong here, but the players were dumb in refusing to settle.

     
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      shortbuspoker: 100% agree. shoulda took the money

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    Nova Scotia's #1 Party Rocker!!!!11 DJ_Chaps's Avatar
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    Did someone say Golden Nugget?




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