Bor­gata casino uses booze, sexy servers as a dis­trac­tion: pro­fes­sional gam­bler


A pro­fes­sional gam­bler ac­cused of cheat­ing an At­lantic City casino out of US$9.6 mil­lion by seek­ing an un­fair edge at cards says the casino has its own method of gain­ing an ad­van­tage: ply­ing gam­blers with free booze served by flirty, scant­ily clad wait­resses.

Phil Ivey is us­ing the un­usual de­fense against al­le­ga­tions that he and a part­ner cheated while play­ing bac­carat at The Bor­gata Ho­tel Casino & Spa in 2012. Both sides are su­ing each other over his win­nings.

The Bor­gata claims Ivey and an as­so­ciate ex­ploited a de­fect in cards that en­abled them to sort and ar­range good cards. The casino says the tech­nique, called edge sort­ing, vi­o­lates New Jersey casino gam­bling reg­u­la­tions.

But Ivey as­serts

his win was sim­ply the re­sult of skill and good ob­ser­va­tion.

In a court fil­ing this week, Ivey turns on its head the Bor­gata’s as­ser­tion that he and the as­so­ciate sought an un­fair ad­van­tage at the card ta­bles. Ivey said the Bor­gata does the same thing by “ply­ing him with free al­co­hol served by only the most cur­va­ceous and volup­tuous fe­males in the in­dus­try.”

The casino de­clined com­ment.

The court fil­ing quotes from a de­po­si­tion in which Ivey re­counted the at­ten­tion Bor­gata em­ploy­ees lav­ished on him while he was bet­ting US$50,000 to US$100,000 a hand.

“It dis­tracts you from your play­ing,” Ivey said. “I mean, any­thing they can do to give them­selves an ad­van­tage. Ev­ery­one knows that al­co­hol im­pairs your judg­ment, and they of­fer that, and they have the pretty cock­tail wait­resses and they’re all very flirty. They’re talk­ing to you, you know. I got quite a few num­bers.”

The latest fil­ing came as Ivey’s lawyers seek to take a sworn state­ment from the casino’s food and bev­er­age man­ager about its cock­tail servers, which it calls “Bor­gata Babes.” They wear tight- fit­ting bustiers, short skirts and heels, and are fea­tured in an an­nual cal­en­dar that the casino sells.

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