In April of 2012, an undisclosed number of gamblers won forty-one consecutive hands of baccarat in the Golden Nugget casino. This may sound like incredible luck. It was, but in an unusual way. Early on in the game, the gamblers noticed that the deck being used wasn’t shuffled. Apparently, the manufacturer of the cards being used, which were supposed to come pre-shuffled, had neglected or failed to shuffle this deck. After noticing the error, the gamblers significantly raised their bets, from ten to several thousand dollars, resulting in a million and a half in winnings.
The Judges Verdict
However, a judge of the State Superior Court has ruled against the gamblers, who are to return their winnings to the Golden Nugget. The gamblers argued that no cheating occurred. And therefore, should be allowed to keep the money. But the judge cited a violation of state gambling regulations and casino control act in his decision. These regulations explicitly state that cards must be shuffled by a dealer before a game. The cards used in the game were shuffled neither by the manufacturer, or the dealer. Therefore, under New Jersey law, the game was in violation of gambling regulations, and thus unauthorized.
The dispute between the gamblers and casino was resolved. But the Golden Nugget also raised a dispute with the manufacturer. As stated, the manufacturer had an agreement with the casino to provide pre-shuffled decks. Obviously the cards used in this game were not. However, the manufacturer admitted to failing to shuffle the deck in question. In the end, the dispute between the casino and manufacturer was not decided in court. The litigation was settled outside of court. But, due to a confidentiality agreement, no specifics of the settlement are available.
As of now, there is no news of an appeal of the judge’s decision from the gamblers, nor any further litigation between the gamblers and the Golden Nugget. Also, there has been no indication of any change in the business relationship between the casino and the card manufacturer, which is based in Kansas City.