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Gambling. Whether letting it ride at the roulette wheel or letting the big dog eat at the craps table, wagering your parents’ hard-earned money while in college is as American as a Cal Berkeley protest. I personally have been told I have a bit of a problem, but I don’t see an issue with putting my food money for the month on black when I’ve already paid off my tuition for the year.
But I can honestly say I would suck face with Lena Dunham and then some to have the kind of run that 14 lucky SOBs had in New Jersey.
At first, it seemed like a coincidence, the kind of thing that happens from time to time at a casino, where the same number or same sequence of cards happens twice in a row.
But when the players at an April game of mini-baccarat at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City kept seeing the same sequence of cards dealt, over and over and over again, their eyes grew wide and their bets grew bigger, zooming from $10 a hand to $5,000.
Forty-one consecutive winning hands later, the 14 players had racked up more than $1.5 million in winnings — surrounded by casino security convinced they had cheated but unable to prove how.
1.5 million dollars at a New Jersey casino? Holy Baccarat-man! That is the kind of luck that is only deserved for the tragic, unfortunate few that live in the armpit of America. What’s that, you say? It wasn’t exactly luck?
In a lawsuit against a Kansas City playing card manufacturer, the Golden Nugget contends the cards were unshuffled, despite being promised to be pre-shuffled and ready to use. The Golden Nugget said it flooded the area with floor persons, managers, supervisors, surveillance and security officers, believing they were watching “a sophisticated swindling and cheating scheme” in progress.
“From the beginning to the end of play, however, plaintiff could not identify any particular act of those players that actually constituted swindling and cheating,” the casino wrote in its lawsuit. Accordingly, it let nine of the players cash out $558,900 worth of chips. The other players still have $977,800 in chips that they have not yet cashed in.
There’s an old Chinese proverb that says “in a bet, there is always a fool and a thief.” I don’t know what the hell that means, but since baccarat was the game of choice for these 14 patrons, I assume it can only mean something good. You can bet that the other Atlantic City casinos are hoping that this was a one-time thing.
The April 30 incident was the latest instance of unshuffled cards causing big headaches for an Atlantic City casino. In December, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort used unshuffled mini-baccarat cards for 3½ hours before realizing something was wrong.
Well, I could have called that one..
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