Borgata Motion for Summary Judgment Denied in Latest Installment of Phil Ivey Edge-Sorting Saga

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Borgata Motion for Summary Judgment Denied in Latest Installment of Phil Ivey Edge-Sorting Saga

A US district judge denied Monday a request for summary judgment filed by Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino as the gambling venue seeks to sue card manufacturer Gemaco for knowingly supplying it with defective cards, Law360 reports.

The playing cards were used by famed poker pro Phil Ivey back in 2012 when the player won more than $9.6 million by playing baccarat at the Borgata with its fellow player Cheung Yin Sun. The Borgata has also been suing Ivey seeking to collect the aforementioned amount plus damages from him and his companion player.

Last summer, the popular Atlantic City Boardwalk casino filed a motion for summary judgment in its case against Gemaco. The gambling venue claimed that Gemaco had provided it with defective cards and that it had thus enabled Ivey and Sun to exploit the defects and generate large profits from the casino.

On Monday, US District Judge Noel L. Hillman denied the Borgata’s motion and partly granted Gemaco’s cross-motion for summary judgment, ruling that Ivey and Sun were the ones to blame for exploring and exploiting differences on the backs of the cards while playing baccarat at the casino. Judge Hillman went on to say that Gemaco was thus not “liable for any tort claims” by the Borgata.

The judge granted Gemaco cross-motion for summary judgment for the casino’s common law breach of contract claim, of implied warrant claim, and of common law negligence. The card manufacturer filed a request for cross-motion summary judgment last October, claiming that the Borgata had no actual proof that the cards were defective as it destroyed them.

The Atlantic City seeks to recoup the $9.6 million it lost to Ivey and Sun from both the two players and Gemaco.

Where Does the Legal Dispute Stem from?

Ivey and Sun visited the Borgata back in 2012 to play baccarat. The two players requested a private pit, a Mandarin-speaking dealer, and decks of purple Gemaco cards, among other things. They amassed winnings of more than $9.6 million over four casino visits.

The Borgata paid out the money but it later on came to its knowledge that the two players had used the controversial edge-sorting technique to win at the baccarat table. Generally speaking, Sun and Ivey opted for the purple Gemaco cards because they knew that these had tiny discrepancies on their backs that could be exploited by players to gain edge over the casino. That was exactly what Ivey and Sun, who is notorious for her edge-sorting skills, did at the casino.

Judge Hillman ruled in October 2016 that the technique itself did not equal to criminal deception or fraud. However, the judge concluded that the two players violated the New Jersey Casino Control Act by deploying edge-sorting at the Borgata. Ivey and Sun are seeking a final judgment in the case, that was originally opened in 2014, in order to be able to appeal the October 2016 ruling to the US Court of Appeals.

Late last year, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled against Ivey in his lawsuit against Crockfords. The player sued the Mayfair casino for withholding the amount of £7.8 million he won in 2012 by playing punto banco. Once again accompanied by Sun, Ivey amassed the winnings by deploying edge-sorting. The casino eventually refused to pay out the money and found itself embroiled in a three-year legal fight that eventually concluded in December.

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