Even when they don’t shuffle the cards, casinos can win.
A New Jersey Superior Court Judge has ruled that the Golden Nugget in Atlantic is not liable for $1.5 million won by a group of gamblers who realized cards had not been shuffled and were able to bet while knowing the pattern of the cards that were emerging in a mini-baccarat game. The casino can also move to recover more than $500,000 it had already paid the group, the judge ruled.
The ruling states that because the cards had been unshuffled, that made the game of mini-baccarat in April 2012 illegal under state casino rules.
Fourteen players won $1.5 million over 41 straight hands when they realized the cards were coming out in a specific pattern. Many of the players increased their bets from $10 a hand to $5,000.
The cards had been guaranteed to be pre-shuffled by the manufacturer Gemaco, but, in fact, they weren’t.
The casino sued the 14 gamblers for the return of money paid out and sought not to have to redeem the remaining chips. The players countersued, alleging, among other things, that the casino illegally detained them, according to the Associated Press.
The illegal detention claim remains pending.
According to the AP, 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.