The Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of 14 Chinese gamblers who were denied winnings from Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget Casino following a disputed mini-baccarat game in April involving allegedly unshuffled cards.
According to a statement from Benjamin Dash, a partner at Dash Farrow representing three of the fourteen people accused, “the players won more than $1.5 million, however the Golden Nugget refused to cash the chips and, in an unexpected move, filed a lawsuit against the players claiming the game was illegal.”
“Today’s ruling affirmed that the Golden Nugget acted inappropriately in singling out and bullying these players and is a validation that they were horribly mistreated,” said Dash.
The player’s claims of false imprisonment and ethnic discrimination, among others, remain subject to ongoing litigation.
According to Philly.com, the decks, unbeknownst to the players or casino personnel, came unshuffled from their manufacturer, Gemaco Inc.
False-shuffle cheats in mini-baccarat have been a problem for casinos in the past, garnering national attention after being featured on an episode of CNBC’s American Greed.
Tilman Fertitta, owner of Landry’s, the Texas-based hospitality and gaming company that owns the Golden Nugget, Landry’s Seafood House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, McCormick & Schmidt and Morton’s Steakhouse, in addition to other ventures, also released a statement.
“Without question, the mini-baccarat game that took place on April 30, 2012 allowed $10 betters to realize a gambler’s dream and enabled them to beat the house out of $1.5 million dollars. While we believe the mini-baccarat game should have been declared void, Judge Isman saw differently.”
Forbes lists Fertitta, a 55-year-old, married, father of four from Houston, Texas as #854 on its Billionaires list, #303 in the United States. He debuted on the World’s Billionaires List with a net worth of $1.5B in 2012.
Fertitta and The Golden Nugget have chosen not to appeal the Court’s ruling and in a letter to the players involved stated that they “appreciate” that most of the players “have continued to gamble at the Golden Nugget.”