Borgata’s Lawyers Filed a Response to Gemaco’s Call for Summary Judgment
Jeremy Klausner, the lead attorney for Borgata, filed a critical response to a previous legal filing by playing-card manufacturer Gemaco, which is involved in the Borgata-Phil Ivey lawsuit. Previously, the Kansas City-based Gemaco filed a motion for a summary judgment in the case.
The litigation stems from a lawsuit Borgata filed against Phil Ivey and his associated Cheung Yin Sun. As the arguments have been heard over the months, a three-way battle has emerged to assign blame in the casino. Gemaco, the card manufacturer which produced the cards used the controversy, has emerged as a key factor in the lawsuit.
Jeremy Klausner’s Filing
Mr. Klausen said that the Gemaco filing contained “factual inaccuracies”. Klausner also stated in his scathing response that “audiences that do not have all the facts, like the general public for whom most of it is intended”. In an interesting twist, Borgata forwarded its information to New Jersey media outfits, for purposes similar to what the casino had accused Gemaco of doing. Gemaco had not done the same.
The filing by Jeremy Klausner states, “Gemaco persists in arguing the Casino Control Act pre-empts Borgata’s tort claims. It does not. With respect to the facts, and despite a mountain of evidence that Gemaco’s cards were defective, including its own admission and the cards themselves, Gemaco argues Borgata ‘provides no evidence to support its contention.'”
Gemaco v. Borgata v. Ivey
The lawsuit has devolved into a kind of triangular battle, as Borgata and Gemaco have refused to take responsibility for their role in Phil Ivey’s winning streak. Both have pointed fingers at each other, while also blaming Ivey and his associate of cheating. For his part, Phil Ivey claims he won millions using skill at baccarat.
The implication is he exploited the rare case when the player had an advantage over the casino and it is not his fault the casino did not understand the game. It goes without saying that casinos like Borgata build financial empires on exploiting an advantage on opponents who do not quite understand the odds they are facing.
Borgata Lawsuit’s Background
The $9.6 million lawsuit was filed by Atlantic City casino, Borgata, against professional poker player Phil Ivey, his fellow gambler Cheung Yin Sun, and Gemaco. Over a several-month period in 2012, Ivey and Cheung played baccarat at the Borgata and ultimately won $9.6 million.
The two played at $50,000 a hand. Using their status as high rollers, they called for several stipulations: the use of purple Gemaco cards, a dealer who spoke Chinese, and the ability to sort the card deck themselves.
Borgata agreed to these conditions. Later, Borgata lured Phil Ivey and Cheung Yin Sun back to the casino to play at $100,000 a hand, secure in the knowledge that the house edge would get the house even, if they kept the gamblers playing long enough. Instead, Ivey and Cheung continued to win.
Crockford’s Casino Revealed the Facts
Borgata’s executives assumed luck was in Ivey’s favor, until the Crockford’s Casino in London refused to pay baccarat winnings to Phil Ivey. Genting Group, the Malaysia-based owners of Crockford’s Casino, accused the poker player of “edge sorting” to give himself an advantage. Eventually, the High Court of London ruled in favor of the Crockford’s Casino, whic meant it did not have to pay £7.8 million in winnings to Phil Ivey.
In the London case, purple Gemaco cards were used for the sessions. It later was learned that the Gemaco cards were defective, so the back of certain cards were marked.
In theory, using the edge sorting method, players could get an idea of which cards were about to appear, giving them an advantage over the house. Knowing how Phil Ivey and his friend won, Borgata sued to recover its lost millions, accusing the gamblers of cheating.
Citing Detective Koch
Jeremy Klausner states in his filing that the investigator in the case, Detective Koch, wanted to bring charges against Phil Ivey and his associate, but was forbidden to do so by his superiors.
Klauser writes, “It is clear that Detective Koch wanted to bring a criminal complaint. He testified that he determined edge sorting is a cheating scam.”
“Although there are circumstances where Koch can sign a criminal complaint, he was directed not to do so in this case. Instead, he was directed by his superiors to conduct his investigation, meet with the Attorney General’s Office, and let them decide whether to bring charges.”
The Borgata documents do not name those superiors, which is notable, because those superiors are the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Since the DGE oversees Borgata’s day-to-day business, it is clear the casino does not wish to criticize the regulators it deals with 365 days a year — but disagrees with their decision. No filings yet mention why the Attorney General did not want to file charges on Phil Ivey.
The Borgata case might end up being a victory for the casino. New Jersey laws, like Nevada laws, are designed to give the advantage to the casino industry, since it is a major taxpayer in the state. The lawsuit has been bad publicity for Borgata, though, because gamblers do not want to hear a casino complain in the rare case the gambler has the advantage.
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