CASINO

Golden Nugget online add KGM games; DGE say no illegality in unshuffled cards game

TAGs: Atlantic City, Golden Nugget, New Jersey Online Gambling

golden-nugget-casino-kgm-spin-gamesThe Golden Nugget Atlantic City casino’s online gambling site in New Jersey has added the KGM Gaming/Spin Games tandem to its list of game suppliers. GoldenNuggetCasino.com launched in December featuring casino games from the likes of Amaya Gaming, Bally Technologies, IGT and SHFL Entertainment. On Friday, the Press of Atlantic City reported that the Nugget’s site would add KGM’s video poker, mega ball and slot games within a few weeks. The Philadelphia-based KGM already supplies online game titles to Caesars Interactive Entertainment NJ.

In less positive news, the Golden Nugget’s dreaded ‘unshuffled cards’ legal case took yet another turn this week after state gaming regulators ruled the baccarat game at the heart of the matter was legal. The two-year-old case involved 14 mini-baccarat gamblers who noticed that the cards coming out of their table’s shoe hadn’t been shuffled due to a cockup at the card manufacturer.

Armed with foreknowledge of what cards were coming next, the gamblers won a combined $1.5m over the next 37 hands. Some gamblers made it out of the casino with their winnings, while others were detained by Nugget security and prevented from cashing their chips. The gamblers filed lawsuits to force the casino to pay up and alleging forcible confinement by the casino, which countered with lawsuits aimed at collecting the $550k the other gamblers managed to cash out before security caught on what was happening.

In June, a Superior Court Judge dismissed the racketeering complaint brought by the gamblers on the grounds that the unshuffled cards meant the game they were playing was illegal under state gaming regulations. However, a new judge granted the gamblers the right to appeal the ruling.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported seeing a letter written by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), which said its investigation of the incident had found no evidence of wrongdoing by either the casino or the players. The letter, which was written after the gamblers’ attorneys subpoenaed the DGE, said the game in question was “legal and valid” and that none of the gamblers had engaged in “any sort of collusion, cheating or manipulation to affect the results of the game.”

The DGE went on to say that the Nugget management had been “actively watching” the game and had the authority to call for a new deck of cards “but elected to let play continue.” The gamblers’ attorneys believe the letter vindicates their clients’ claims while an attorney for Nugget parent company Landry’s called the letter “perplexing” and “an opinion that has no binding authority.” It remains to be seen whether Landry’s legal bills will eclipse the $1.5m at stake before the courts finally sort out this mess once and for all.

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