In New York, a federal appeals court has upheld the earlier dismissal of a $3 million lawsuit filed by three gamblers amid claims that the Foxwoods Resort Casino had illegally withheld their mini-baccarat winnings.
According to a report from The Day newspaper, a trio of Chinese nationals in Cheung Yin Sun, Long Mei Fang and Zong Yang Li had sued the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe in the United States District Court in nearby New Haven after the federally-recognized tribe’s Connecticut casino refused to pay them $1.1 million they allegedly won playing mini-baccarat in December of 2011 or refund the $1.6 million the three had previously deposited to cover any losses.
The lower Connecticut court ruled in July of 2014 that it had lacked jurisdiction in the case because the Foxwoods Resort Casino and its employees were protected from such suits by the sovereign immunity of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe.
For its part, the casino claimed that it had been entitled to withhold the funds because the trio had engaged in “edge sorting”, which involves recognizing the denominations of playing cards through identifying characteristics on their backs. The newspaper reported that Sun is known as the “Queen Of Sorts” among gamblers while the plaintiffs had claimed that such a practice is not illegal under tribal or state laws.
In their appeal, the gamblers had cited Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code, which is the same being employed in the Pistor v Garcia case brought against the Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona by players at its Mazatzal Hotel And Casino.
However, the three judges of the United States Court Of Appeals For The Second Circuit upheld the Connecticut court’s ruling with its “summary order” concluding that the lower body had lacked “personal jurisdiction” over the defendants named in the suit “substantially for the reasons articulated in the District Court’s well-reasoned opinion”.