Joseph A. Lombardo
The group of baccarat players who are locked in a battle against the Golden Nugget Atlantic City Casino have rejected the casino’s recent offer to pay them out on their winnings. The decision was made public my an announcement from the group’s attorney. The most recent offer on behalf of the Atlantic City casino was 1.5 million.
If you’ll remember (read the background here), that offer was made by the the owner of the Golden Nugget, Tilman Feritta, after his attorneys said that they would appeal a Judge’s decision that the casino must pay the players. In a backhanded public statement, Feritta said that although the casino ‘could’ drag out the litigation and recoup the player’s winnings, that he would graciously pay the players despite the orders of his attorneys. That statement was made right after the Superior Court Judge ordered the casino to pay the players.
It had already been made public that at the same time that the casino was locked in the dispute with the players, it casino was also pursuing legal action against the card manufacturer citing fault for not improperly shuffling the cards in question.
The playerss didn’t bite on Feritta’s offer. In fact, an attorney representing six of the players made a statement that his clients would not be bullied and that they planned to bring ‘even more suits’ against the casino.
In response, the casino issued this statement:
“Unfortunately, no patrons have taken us up on the offer. Frankly, now it’s a matter of greedy attorneys who have been telling their clients they can get three times damages for stuff that doesn’t warrant three times damages.”
A statement by one of the other player’s attorney, Mark Pfeffer of Atlantic City, said that he could not reccomend settlment because he was suspicious of the Casino’s case due to the fact that they had been withholding information and not giving the player’s attorneys access to witnesses. He said that “There are a lot of questions that need to be answered”.
This is turning into quite the mess for the casino. It appears that their hand was the one on full display after the publicly acknowledged that even though they had employees specifically watching the players in question for signs of cheating, they were able to find none. They also publicly acknowledged that they were filing a lawsuit against the card maker, essentially letting the world know that they thought strongly enough that the card manufacturer was at fault in this issue.
In all, the Golden Nugget Atlantic City sued 14 gamblers. Some of those players already cashed their chips in to the tune of about $560k. There is still about $1mm in chips left unclaimed. The chips have been unclaimed despite the New Jersey Superior Court Judge’s ruling because the Judge also held that payment for the chips could be held until the end of the appeal.
To read more about the circumstances of the baccarat game in question and the legal dispute between the casino and the players, click on the previous blog posts below.
What do you think?
Let us know what you think. Do you think that the casino is right to deny the players payment? Do you think that the card manufacturer is the one at fault? Post a blog comment and tell us your opinion on the matter.
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