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.
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