Allegations of Altered Dice at Golden Nugget Atlantic City
A recent ruling by a New York court has determined that New Jersey regulators should investigate a gambler's claim that dice used at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City were altered in a way that could potentially be considered cheating.
Wayne Chan, a New Yorker, filed a lawsuit against the Golden Nugget Casino in a Newark federal court in September 2021 after losing over $469,125 playing craps in 2018 and 2019. While the casino sought to collect the $200,000 he owed, Chan argued that he shouldn't have to pay it due to unfair games.
Chan alleged that the casino marked the dice with the table number and used non-transparent dice, both of which are in violation of New Jersey laws. He raised his concerns with the casino, but the Golden Nugget's counsel claimed that marking the dice was an "industry-recognized practice" known to the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and other gaming regulators, as stated in a January 2020 letter included in Chan's complaint.
Dice are subject to close regulation to prevent tampering and ensure fair play. In New Jersey, state law requires dice to be transparent and made primarily of cellulose, with exceptions for spots, the casino name, and serial numbers. Previous court cases have determined that similar marking allegations against another casino did not violate state law.
The Golden Nugget in New Jersey is owned by Houston billionaire Tillman Fertitta, who also owns several other locations, including the famous downtown Las Vegas venue and one in Laughlin. Fertitta purchased six acres of real estate on the Las Vegas Strip last year with plans to develop a 43-story hotel-casino.
Chan submitted a complaint to New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement the day after the Golden Nugget's lawyers responded to his concerns. However, the agency did not intervene in the complaint, and Chan was unsuccessful in his lawsuit, prompting the casino to seek a summary judgment for his outstanding losses.
However, the appeals court in New York ruled on April 27 that the lower court had acted prematurely in granting the judgment and that the results of a DGE investigation should be considered first. The summary judgment was denied, with the possibility of renewal after a ruling from the DGE or after six months if the DGE fails to resolve the issue within that time frame.
This ruling highlights the importance of thorough investigations when serious allegations are made regarding the fairness and integrity of casino games. The DGE now has the responsibility to thoroughly examine the complaint and determine whether the claims of altered dice at the Golden Nugget have any merit. The outcome of this investigation will shed light on the situation and provide clarity for both the casino and the aggrieved player.
As the case continues to unfold, it serves as a reminder that the gaming industry must uphold high standards of transparency and fairness to maintain public trust and confidence in the integrity of casino games.