Golden Nugget forced to pay Baccarat Players $1m

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Last week, we discussed how the Golden Nugget Atlantic City Casino was mired in a court battle over $1.5 million in baccarat winnings. While you can read the full story here, the quick synopsis is that 14 mini baccarat players won a collective $1.5 million when unshuffled decks were involved. Since the $1.5 million in winnings was due to unusual circumstances, Golden Nugget withheld $1 million after several other players cashed out around $500k collectively.

Last night, a judge ruled that the Atlantic City casino wouldn’t be able to recoup the $500k, and they’d have to pay the $1 million in withheld winnings. Upon hearing of the court’s decision, the Golden Nugget’s primary owner – Texas Billionaire Tilman Fertitta – was willing to honor this ruling. He made the following statement on the matter:

Without question, the mini baccarat game that took place on April 30th, 2012, allowed $10 bettors to realize a gambler’s dream and enabled them to beat the house out of $1.5 million. Even though we can appeal the court’s ruling and take full advantage of the appellate process and legal system, and tie the matter up in litigation for a number of years, the Golden Nugget is a people business, and is prepared to allow the gamblers – most of whom continue to gamble at Golden Nugget – to realize the gambler’s dream of beating the house.

While Ferttita may not be happy with the decision, all of the players involved were definitely pleased. Michael Cho was one of them as he said, “I wasn’t cheating. I didn’t do anything illegal. It wasn’t right for them to get the money.” The 51-year-old continued by discussing the pattern that enabled players to win when he said, “We took a chance on every hand we bet, that it (the pattern) wouldn’t change. We didn’t know if it was going to change. That’s called gambling.”

Seeing as how Golden Nugget Atlantic City won’t be able to get its money back through the players, they’ll continue pursuing card manufacturer Gemaco Inc. Gemaco manufactured the faulty deck that enabled players to profit off of a pattern which lasted 41 straight hands.

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