Casinos take losses to due to alleged fraud very seriously. First of all, nobody likes to lose money due to fraudulent activity. More importantly, casinos will go after offenders to the full extent of the law as a way to deter future attempts by other patrons that are intent on trying to win money through fraudulent means.
Indeed, there was an update on the current legal battle between the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City and famous card player Phil Ivey. The Borgata filed a cross-appeal against Ivery in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Thursday, Sept. 27. The purpose of the cross-appeal is to seek the higher court’s examination and ultimate opinion on “each and every ruling adverse to Borgata” that was handed down by the New Jersey District Court in late 2016.
Why Is Borgata Casino Raising the Stakes Against Phil Ivey?
The issue between Borgata and Ivey goes back to a court filing in 2014. The biggest casino in Atlanta City alleged that Ivey and a playing partner committed fraud while also engaging in a RICO enterprise in the act of playing baccarat in a number of sessions in 2012. These actions caused Borgata “ascertainable economic damages” according to the original lawsuit. The casino sought damages totaling nearly $30 million.
Ivey’s partner was Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun. In a direct quote from this post, the casino’s stance was that “Ivey and Sun participated in a RICO enterprise in violation of federal law when they transferred money that was the proceeds of their fraud against Borgata to a foreign bank account in Mexico, in violation of the federal wire fraud and anti-money laundering statures.”
District Court Judge Noel Hillman did not see this matter the same way and ruled that Ivey and Sun did not commit fraud nor violate RICO acts at the state and federal levels. He did admit that the two did breach their contract with Borgata by playing Baccarat. The judge awarded the Borgata $10.1 million in the dispute. This included the money that Ivey had won playing craps with the money he has originally won at the baccarat table.
· Borgata Casino Presses Accusations On Phil Ivey & Kelly Sun Appeal
Did Phil Ivey Defraud The Borgata?
As part of his 30-page opinion, Hillman added, “It is axiomatic that a breach of contract alone is not fraud. Nor does every act of deceit meet the elements of fraud. Fraud, whether as codified or at common law, requires a higher showing. Ivey and Sun did not defraud Borgata in the legal sense, just as a football team that runs a pass play instead of a running play does not defraud the other team…their conduct was far from admirable, but fraud requires more.”
Ivey appealed the original $10.1 million judgments in late August of this year. The lower court previously ruled that Borgata can take proper means to secure the money owed from this judgment while the Third Circuit works its way through the appeal process. According to Borgata’s legal team, it is unlikely that the Third Circuit will reverse the original decision either way.