Judge Issues New Ruling In Phil Ivey Edge Sorting Case Versus Borgata

Matthew Clark March 28, 2018 39408 Reads
Phil Ivey

The ongoing $9.6 million edge sorting case involving Phil Ivey and the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey has a new wrinkle. A United States District Judge denied a request on Monday for a motion filed by the Borgata for a summary judgment against the card manufacturer Gemaco. The Borgata sought to have Gemaco held responsible for knowingly supplying defective cards to the casino.

Rule lands in Gemaco’s favor

Gemaco was the brand of playing cards used by Ivey in 2012 when he won $9.6 million playing Baccarat at the New Jersey property. The ongoing lawsuit between Ivey and the Borgata came from the Borgata in an attempt to reclaim the money won Ivey with the help of an assistant in Cheung Yin Sun. Edge sorting is a process of identifying flaws on the back of playing cards which gives away the value of the card.

The Borgata submitted the motion last summer and alleged that Gemaco supplied the casino with defective cards. According to Borgata, Sun was able to spot the defections on the Gemaco cards and supplied Ivey with this information while he played.

US District Judge Noel L. Hillman denied the Borgata’s motion while partially granting Gemaco’s cross-motion for summary judgment. The judge ruled that Ivey and Sun were responsible for exploiting any defects on the cards and using the gained advantage to win their sum. Judge Hillman deemed Gemaco not “liable for any tort claims” lobbied by the Borgata.

Judge Hillman granted Gemaco cross-motion for summary judgment for the casino’s common law breach of contract claim, of implied warranty claim, and of common law negligence. Gemaco’s filed their request for cross-motion summary judgment in October 2017. The company claimed the Borgata had no proof of the cards being defective.

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The saga continues

The Borgata’s case against Ivey stems back to his fateful 2012 visit with Sun. The allegations against Ivey state that he defrauded the casino by winning in Baccarat by use of the method of edge-sorting. A 2016 ruling by Judge Hillman ruled that Ivey was in breach of contract against the Borgata but not liable for fraud. The ruling forced Ivey to repay the $9.6 million he won at the casino plus additional damages. Ivey appealed this decision and the case remains open.

Ivey was embroiled in a similar case in England against the Crockfords Casino in London. Playing Baccarat at the casino in 2012 with Sun as his assistant, Ivey won £7.7 million using a similar method of edge-sorting.

The UK Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that Ivey would not be receiving any of his funds back from the casino in a unanimous decision from five judges.

The casino denied Ivey’s claim to be paid out after the session concluded. The UK High Court allowed Ivey to appeal in October 2014. The Court of Appeal maintained the decision and Ivey was then given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in February 2017.

What’s next for Ivey?

The ruling made by Judge Hillman in favor of Gemaco is yet the next step in Ivey’s case to keep the $9.6 million he won at the Borgata. Currently, Ivey and Sun are appealing the October 2016 decision made by Judge Hillman that Ivey was in breach of contract against the Borgata for marking the cards. However, that appeal is on hold until the Borgata is able to prosecute its claims against Gemaco.

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