A group of gamblers who won $1.5 million at an Atlantic City casino when they noticed that decks of cards that were supposed to be-shuffled by the pack manufacturer hadn't been, have been ordered to return their winnings.
A New Jersey State Superior Court Judge, Donna Taylor, declared the Golden Nugget casino the winners in this dispute, saying that the gamblers had taken an unfair advantage due to the manufacturers error.
The money was won by 14 players in April 2012 while playing mini-baccarat. As new decks were introduced into the game, the gamblers noticed that they had not been shuffled. New decks used by the Golden Nugget casino are expected to arrive pre-shuffled by the suppliers.
The observant punters noticed that the decks had not been pre-shuffled, and realised they could accurately predict the cards that were to be dealt. They upped their bets from $10 to $5,000 a hand, and succeeded in winning forty-one baccarat hands in a row.
When asked to return the money, the gamblers politely declined, saying that they had done nothing wrong. Golden Nugget turned to the courts, and Judge Donna Taylor ruled in their favour.
"The dealer did not pre-shuffle the cards immediately prior to the commencement of play, and the cards were not pre-shuffled in accordance with any regulation," wrote Judge Taylor. "Thus, a literal reading of the regulations ... entails that the game violated the (Casino Control) Act, and consequently was not authorised."
The fourteen gamblers who benefitted from the casino's dealing malfunction have been told to pay back their winnings, as well as any chips from the casino they hold.
It was not all bad news for the 'unlucky' punters though - the Casino has been told to pay them back the money that they wagering during the 'malfunctioning' session.