The trouble began on April 30 when a group of 14 players went on a huge heater at a mini baccarat table at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic city. A streak of 41 winning hands saw the players rake in more than $1.5 million in winnings.
The answer to the amazing run was discovered shortly after the session: the eight decks used in the game were not pre-shuffled as they should have been before being delivered by manufacturer Gemaco.
The casino has filed a lawsuit seeking the return of the winnings, citing that state gaming odds must be fair to both parties.
The Golden Nugget also released the following statement: "The gamblers unlawfully took advantage of the Golden Nugget when they caught onto the pattern and ... by passing money to fellow gamblers in order to place bets in excess of posted betting limits."
The players allegedly realized what was happening with the unshuffled and increased their bets from $10 up to the table limit of $5,000. The Golden Nugget paid out over $500,000 in winnings but refused to pay the remaining $1 million in chips as it investigated.
At first suspecting a sophisticated cheating ring, the truth was far more prosaic. After its own investigation Gemaco admitted that the decks sold to the casino were marked as pre-shuffled and certified when in fact they weren't.
Some of the players aren't standing idly by, filing countersuits of their own. All claim their innocence and put the fault on the casino, with three of them filing a countersuit claiming discrimination.
The three -- all of Asian descent -- claim that only chips of Asian players weren't cashed out the night of the incident and that they we're intimidated and phsyically assaulted by casino security during their investigation.
Along with other Atlantic City casinos, the Golden Nugget has seen its business slide dramatically in recent years as competition increases in neighboring states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio.