New Jersey Regulators Must Investigate Golden Nugget ‘Loaded Dice’ Claim

A New York court has urged New Jersey regulators to investigate a gambler’s claim that craps games he played at Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget Casino used dice that “constituted cheating.”

Golden Nugget, Wayne Chang, craps, loaded dice
The Golden Nugget, above, says it’s standard practice to “mark” its dice, but one losing gambler believes something more sinister is going on. (Image: Golden Nugget)

New Yorker Wayne Chan sued the Golden Nugget in a Newark federal court in September 2021 after he lost $469,125 at the casino’s craps tables from 2018 to 2019. The casino was chasing him for $200K in markers, but Chan claimed the games weren’t on the square.

Specifically, he claimed the casino marked or “scribed” the dice with the table number and used nontransparent dice in violation of New Jersey statutes and regulations.

Lack of Transparency

“The use of nontransparent dice is particularly egregious as it potentially facilitates cheating through using weighted dice, which is part of the reason dice are required to be transparent,” Chan’s lawyers wrote in the complaint. “These illegal practices placed Plaintiff at an even greater disadvantage when the games are already stacked against the players and in favor of the casinos.”

New Jersey gaming regulations require casino dice to be “transparent and made exclusively of cellulose except for the spots, name or trade name of the casino licensee, and serial number or letters contained thereon.”

Chan said he approached the Casino Operations Manager with his concerns and was told the casino had been “doing this for years.” He interpreted this as an “admitted violation of New Jersey laws and regulations.”

“In other words, marking dice and/or using nontransparent dice is in violation of the NJDGE regulations, and therefore, constitutes ‘cheating’ on the part of Defendant,” argued Chan.

No Dice

Chan’s claim, which asked for “at least” the return of his losses, was ultimately unsuccessful, sparking the Nugget to seek a summary judgment for the $200K owed. The Appellate Division, First Department in Manhattan ruled Thursday that the New Jersey court had been “premature” in granting that judgment.

Using New Jersey case law, the New York appellate panel said the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) should decide whether the dice had been tampered with.

Chan filed a complaint to the DGE in January 2020. It stated that the dice were “scribed with the table number on the side of the four dots … and were scratched and nontransparent” and that “such tampering affects the integrity of each dice, throwing them off balance, causing unfair play.”

The DGE has so far failed to make a determination on the complaint.

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