Many seem to be outraged by the attempt of New Jersey's Golden Nugget Casino to get back $1.5 million from players that it claims was illegally won due to unshuffled cards, especially the media, whose negative publicity may cause more than monetary damage to the venue.
The casino apparently believes that 14 gamblers it pursues took advantage of unshuffled cards on a mini-baccarat table, by making 41 winning bets in a row when the cards at the table began coming out in sequence.
They were first believed to be cheating, but the casino soon discovered the problem – that the cards, which had been ordered as pre-shuffled from Missouri manufacturer Gemaco Inc., "were not shuffled at all."
On the occasion, the casino stated: "The gamblers unlawfully took advantage of the Golden Nugget when they caught on to the pattern and increased their bets from as little as $10 to $5,000."
However, a number of unanswered questions keep lingering – what happened to the standard security procedures that should have been deployed by the casino? And, if the reports are true, how could it allow itself confine one of the players to his room for 8 hours and have casino security keep him there?
As for the aforementioned precautions that casinos are supposed to take by law to protect themselves and customers in cases like this, it has been specified by a number of experts in the field that these should always be the following:
* ALL the packs must be broken open under surveillance video, laid out in order and examined physically for imperfections. Then, the cards are supposed to be spread out on the table and mixed in with each other, and only then placed in the auto-shuffler machine.
* Even if the shuffler machine isn’t working, it will signal it with a red light, which informs surveillance and floor/pit/dealer something is not right.
And finally, the main question being asked is: Having in mind the size of the winnings, and the law provisions which proscribe that once a customer hits $7000 in winnings on any game the dealer must call surveillance and have them take an image of the player, or that for each winning over $10,000 they must obtain and verify the player's ID, why was it that the casino security did not intervene immediately?
Answers to the question are still expected, but instead of waiting for them, some of the players have decided to file lawsuits against the casino and seek justice there.
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