Investigators Looking Into Claim That Golden Nugget AC Used Illegal Dice

Written By David Danzis on June 6, 2023
chips and dice on craps table at golden nugget atlantic city

A federal judge in New York wants New Jersey gambling regulators to investigate a man’s claims that an Atlantic City casino cheated him out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by using illegal dice.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement must look into a complaint from Wayne Chan that Golden Nugget Hotel, Casino & Marina is altering dice in a manner inconsistent with state regulations.

According to court documents, Chan lost nearly $470,000 playing craps in 2018 and 2019 using improperly modified dice.

Craps gambler sues Atlantic City casino, claims ‘unfair’ game

Chan sued Golden Nugget in September 2021. A Newark court sided with the casino, but Chan’s attorneys appealed.

In April, a New York court gave the DGE six months to resolve the issue.

The DGE is a division of the state Attorney General’s office. As a matter of policy, neither agency comments on the status of ongoing investigations or litigation.

Rolling (dice) afoul of the law in NJ

Chan’s original complaint alleges Golden Nugget AC marked the dice with a table number. He also says the casino was using nontransparent dice.

Neither of these is permitted under New Jersey gambling regulations.

Dice in Atlantic City casinos can only have the spots, name (or trade name) of the casino and a serial number. They must be transparent to ensure the dice are not weighted, which would affect the outcome of a roll.

NJ gambling officials dismissed a similar complaint of improper dice against Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in 2022.

Everybody is ‘aware’ is a risky legal defense

Here’s where it gets “dicey.”

Chan says he mentioned the suspicious dice to Golden Nugget staff while playing.

On Jan. 13, 2020, a lawyer representing Golden Nugget wrote Chan’s attorney. In the letter, the casino’s lawyer called “scribing the dice..an industry recognized practice.” Golden Nugget’s lawyer also said the “Division of Gaming Enforcement and every other regulatory agency is aware.”

As such, the AC casino wanted $200,000 it says Chan owed.

The next day, Chan filed a complaint with the DGE. No determination of Chan’s complaint was ever recorded.

Golden Nugget continued its collection efforts until Chan filed his lawsuit on Sept. 24, 2021.

In May 2022, the NJ federal court dismissed Chan’s suit without prejudice. The appellate court in New York denied the summary judgment with an ability to renew pending a DGE ruling or after six months’ time.

Photo by Wayne Parry / AP Photo
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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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