Borgata Casino Files For Damages Worth $15.5m From Phil Ivey
Poker legend Phil Ivey may have to pay up $15.5 million to the Borgata Casino Resort in Atlantic City if the casino succeeds in making the case that Ivey caused far more damage than the $9.626 million unfairly won by him through edge-sorting.
Last week, a New Jersey court issued a split verdict in a case involving Ivey and his playing partner Cheung Yin Sun and cleared Ivey of fraud but held him responsible for breaching his casino contractual agreement since the practice of edge-sorting violates New Jersey’s Casino Control Act. The judge asked Borgata to file a brief listing the damages incurred by it and gave the casino a 20 day time period.
In its supplemental filing, the casino has held Ivey responsible for damages arising from three further areas apart from the wins at the mini-baccarat tables. These are: Ivey’s crap winnings in 2012, casino comps given out to Ivey in the same year and expectation damages.
During 2012, Ivey played craps at the Borgata on four separate sessions. While Ivey lost on most occasions, in one visit during July 2012 Ivey won $504,000. According to the casino, the winnings should be returned since they were made possible only due to Ivey’s winnings at the mini-baccarat table which allowed him to place higher bets at the craps table.
The casino has also asked for damages equaling the value of all benefits and perquisites that were extended to Ivey during his various stays. Casinos typically extend these perks to all high rollers who gamble millions on their gaming floors, which is compensated by the house edge. The Borgata claims that because Ivey and Sun adopted unfair means to win, the house lost the edge that it would have normally had. Over four visits the comps given to Ivey and Sun amounted to $249,199.83 according to Borgata’s filing.
The last section listed as the expectation damages, worth $5.4 million refers to the amount of money the casino might have earned with the normal house edge. According to the filing, such a loss amounted to $5,418,311.40, as calculated over the 8618 hands of mini-baccarat that Ivey played in four sessions at Borgata.
Together these three damages total to $15,548,311.40. This however doesn’t include legal fees or penalties. According to media reports, the damages could have jumped to $30-45 million had Borgata included claims for fraud and RICO violations. Ivey’s team has 20 days to respond.
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