The 40-year-old American poker pro, Phil Ivey is moving to the Supreme Court to fight his legal battle against Genting Casinos UK, which owns Crockfords Club in Mayfair over his £7.7 million winnings. Ivey is seeking to challenge the majority decision of 2016 by the Court of Appeal that dismissed his case against the London-based casino.
Ivey won a game of Punto Banco, a version of baccarat in 2012; he left for Las Vegas after he was told his winnings would be wired to him, which never reached him. Only his stake money of £1 million was returned.
Genting, owner of more than 40 casinos in the UK, claimed that Ivey did not use legitimate strategy. He used the technique of “edge sorting” that involves identification of small differences in the pattern on the reverse of playing cards and exploited that information to increase the chances of winning. Hence the casino was not liable to pay him the winnings.
According to the Gambling Act 2005, a party may cheat without dishonesty or intention to deceive. The Court of Appeal said it couldn’t be determined if Ivey was cheating, though his actions did interfere with the process by which Crockfords played the game of Punto Banco and said it was for the court to determine whether the interference was of such quality to constitute cheating.
Ivey claims he played the game honestly and won, and is upset because his integrity has been questioned. He is pleased that the Supreme Court has granted him the permission to fight his case.