Ivey: Borgata Case Not Like Golden Nugget Case

Recently, Borgata casino lawyers told a federal judge that noted gambler Phil Ivey should pay back $15.5 million, which includes his $9.6 million in winnings plus expected losses. The court battle continued this week, when Ivey’s lawyers fired back by contesting Borgata’s notion that this lawsuit is “identical” to the 2015 Golden Nugget case.

In the Golden Nugget lawsuit, gamblers had to give back a collective $1.5 million in baccarat winnings because the cards were not – as required by New jersey gambling regulations – pre-shuffled. Players took advantage of an error by the playing card company, which resulted in a “recurring pattern” of cards.

This allowed some players to win as many as 42 consecutive hands, increasing their bets along the way.

Ivey believes that his case is totally different since spotting imperfections in the backs of playing cards (edge sorting) “did not violate any rules or regulations.”

In other words, Ivey doesn’t think that the Golden Nugget ruling should be used as a reference when determining if Borgata gets the $9.6 million back.

Ivey and his accomplice, Cheng Yin Sun, knew that the Gemaco deck in use was flawed, which led Ivey to increase his bets up to $100,000 at some points. This is why the Borgata has drawn a parallel between the Golden Nugget and Ivey lawsuits.

Sun argued that “we gamble regardless, because I can’t be accurate all the time” when discussing how she and Ivey still take risks. Sun also said that they lost $2.7 million “in minutes” during their third visit to the Borgata.

According to North Jersey, Ivey won 864 hands, lost 822 hands, and tied 184 hands throughout 4 visits, showing the variance that they experienced.

“Defendants can prove that the edge sorting technique provides information for betting purposes only, and does not change the percentage of the winning hands to any extent,” states Ivey’s brief.

So far, there’s no definitive opinion on who’ll prevail in this legal battle. A federal judge ruled that Ivey’s advantage play was a breach of contract, but not fraud.

Given Ivey’s latest legal contest, this case doesn’t look to be wrapped up any time soon.

“The Court’s finding on liability does not dictate an automatic damage award,” said Ivey.