A New York court recently determined New Jersey regulators should investigate a gambler’s claim that dice used at Golden Nugget Atlantic City were altered in a way that violated state gaming statutes.
Wayne Chan of New York sued the Golden Nugget in a Newark federal court in September 2021 after losing $469,125 playing craps at the casino in 2018 and 2019.
The Golden Nugget sought $200,000 in markers, but Chan claimed that the casino marked or “scribed” the dice “with the table number on the side of the four dots and were scratched and nontransparent,” and that “such tampering affects the integrity of each dice, throwing them off balance, causing unfair play.”
Chan said he expressed his concerns about the dice to the casino’s operations manager. However, Golden Nugget counsel said scribing the dice was an “industry recognized practice of which the Division of Gaming Enforcement and every other regulatory agency” were aware.
According to New Jersey gaming regulations, casino dice must be “transparent and made exclusively of cellulose except for the spots, name or trade name of the casino licensee and serial number or letters contained thereon.”
In the complaint, Chan’s lawyers wrote, “The use of nontransparent dice is particularly egregious as it potentially facilitates cheating through using weighted dice. These illegal practices placed Plaintiff at an even greater disadvantage when the games are already stacked against the players and in favor of the casinos. In other words, marking dice and/or using nontransparent dice is in violation of the NJDGE regulations, and therefore, constitutes ‘cheating’ on the part of Defendant.”
Chan’s attorneys requested he receive “at least” the return of his losses but that claim was denied. The Golden Nugget then pursued a summary judgment for the $200,000 in markers owed by Chan. But the Appellate Division, First Department in Manhattan, ruled the New Jersey court had been “premature” in granting that judgment.
The New York appellate panel, citing New Jersey case law, said the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement should decide whether the dice had been tampered with. To date, the New Jersey DGE has taken no action.