Lost slot machines, unshuffled cards draw fines for casinos

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 03, 2015 2:49 PM
Lost slot machines, unshuffled cards draw fines for casinos

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Two tasks should be among the most basic at any casino: Keep track of how many slot machines are in use, and shuffle the cards before using them.

Yet two Atlantic City casinos have been fined for failing at those jobs.

In actions made public Tuesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement fined Caesars Atlantic City $5,000 for losing two slot machines and filing monthly reports indicating that all machines were accounted for. The machines are still missing.

It also fined the Golden Nugget Atlantic City $4,000 for using unshuffled cards in four blackjack games in August, then realizing its mistake and handing a gambler who lost $1,600 in the tainted games a stack of chips to cover his losses. Both are forbidden, according to state gambling regulations.

In the Caesars matter, the gambling enforcement division fined the casino for violating records-keeping regulations. In November 2013, the casino was moving slot machines to and from storage spaces when it realized it could not locate or account for two. Yet, it filled out monthly reports indicating that all its machines were accounted for.

Kerry Langan, a spokeswoman for the enforcement division, said the two slot machines at issue have not yet been located. A spokeswoman for Caesars Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. However, the company reached a settlement with the state and agreed to pay the fine.

The unshuffled cards incident in August was just the latest for the Golden Nugget. On Aug. 8, a blackjack dealer introduced cards into the game without shuffling them first, according to documents outlining a settlement of the charges between the enforcement division and the casino.

Four rounds of blackjack were played before casino staff realized what had happened. As soon as they did, they decided to compensate a gambler who had lost $1,600 during the four games by handing him a stack of chips from the table inventory to cover his losses. By law, chips cannot be removed from a table except in return for money, credit or in other defined circumstances.

In its complaint, the enforcement division acknowledged the dealer had acted "inadvertently" in using unshuffled cards.

The Golden Nugget had no immediate comment Tuesday.

The casino is also embroiled in litigation stemming from the use of cards it bought from a manufacturer that were supposed to be pre-shuffled but weren't. That allowed gamblers to win $1.5 million when they recognized the emerging pattern of cards.

___

Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC