May 17, 2023
Appellate Court Urges New Jersey Regulators to Check Dice at the Golden Nugget
The New York Appellate Division overturns a previous ruling and urges New Jersey regulators to investigate a lawsuit against the Golden Nugget Atlantic City Casino over alleged use of non-transparent and marked dice, which, if true, would violate New Jersey gaming regulations and possibly invalidate a customer’s $200,000 debt.
- New Jersey Gaming Regulations Require Casino Dice to Be Transparent and Made Exclusively of Cellulose Except For The Spots, Name or Trade Name of The Casino Licensee, and Serial Number or Letters Contained Thereon.
- A New Jersey Lawsuit Alleges that Golden Nugget Atlantic City Failed to Abide by New Jersey Casino Dice Gaming Regulations, Thereby Invalidating a Customer’s Loses.
- The Golden Nugget Won a Motion for Summary Judgment in a Newark Federal Court, but the New York Appellate Division Requested New Jersey Regulators to Weigh in on the Matter.
The Appellate Division, First Department in Manhattan ruled Thursday that a New Jersey court was “premature” in granting the Golden Nugget Atlantic City summary judgment against an allegation that $200,000 in gambling debts allegedly owed by Wayne Chan were invalid.
Chan claims that the Golden Nugget marks, or “scribes” their craps table dice with the table number and uses nontransparent dice, both of which violate of New Jersey statutes and regulations. Chan’s claim, which asked for “at least” the return of his losses, was ultimately denied in a Newark Federal Court, sparking the Golden Nugget to seek a summary judgment for the $200K owed. However, the Appellate Division’s Ruling overturns that denial.
Chan filed suit in federal court in September 2021 after he lost $469,125 at the casino’s craps tables from 2018 to 2019. The casino pursued a claim against him for $200K in markers. But Chan claimed the games were illegal.
“The use of nontransparent dice is particularly egregious as it potentially facilitates cheating through using weighted dice.” Chan’s lawyers wrote in the complaint. “These illegal practices placed Plaintiff at an even greater disadvantage when the games are already stacked against the players and in favor of the casinos.”
“In other words, marking dice and/or using nontransparent dice is in violation of the NJDGE regulations, and therefore, constitutes ‘cheating’ on the part of Defendant,” Chan argued in the complaint.
New Jersey gaming regulations require casino dice to be “transparent and made exclusively of cellulose except for the spots, name or trade name of the casino licensee, and serial number or letters contained thereon.”
Chan alleges that he approached the Golden Nugget Casino Operations Manager with concerns and was told the casino had been “doing this for years.” Chan interpreted this as an “admitted violation of New Jersey laws and regulations.” Based on this purported admission, Chan now alleges that the casino – and its operations manager in particular – knowingly and purposefully breached the regulations established by the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey.
Using New Jersey case law, the New York appellate panel said the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) should be the ones to ultimately decide whether the dice had been tampered with.
Chan previously filed a complaint to the DGE in January 2020. It stated that the dice were “scribed with the table number on the side of the four dots … and were scratched and nontransparent,” and that “such tampering affects the integrity of each dice, throwing them off balance, causing unfair play.” The DGE has yet to address Chan’s complaint.