UK Supreme Court Upholds Judgement Against Phil Ivey

UK Supreme Court Upholds Judgement Against Phil IveyPhil Ivey has lost his lawsuit against the Crockfords Club in Mayfair, and now no longer has a claim on the £7.7 million he won from the casino playing Punto Banco back in 2012. The decision previously made by the Court of Appeal was upheld by five Supreme Court justices on Wednesday, who unanimously agreed that dishonesty was not a necessary part of cheating.
According to Lord Hughes, who delivered the ruling, Ivey had cheated when he resorted to an “edge sorting” technique to gain an advantage over the casino. One key point of importance was that Ivey did not simply just watch the cards to help win the money, but actively took action to “fix the shoe,” including persuading the croupier to rotate the face-down cards for good luck.
In other words, while Ivey would obviously have been cheating if he had accessed the cards directly himself, in this instance the player had managed to achieve the “same result by duping the croupier and that is cheating as well.”
The decision represents an end of a five-year journey by Ivey to have the Genting owned Crockfords Club pay him the £7.7 million he won back in 2012. Instead, the casino at the time only repaid Phil Ivey his original starting £1 million stake, with subsequent courts upholding the casino’s decision, including the High Court in 2014, the Court of Appeal in 2016, and now the Supreme Court today.
In addition to the huge sum of money involved, Ivey said that it was his sense of honor and integrity which compelled him to pursue his unpaid winnings, and clear his name from any allegations of cheating or wrong doing.
Meanwhile, Genting UK hailed the Supreme Court’s decision, saying that it confirmed that their casino had acted “fairly and properly” in not paying Ivey, whose “conduct did indeed amount to cheating.”
In 2014, the Court of Appeal stated that the country’s Gambling Act of 2005 provided for the possibility of someone cheating “without dishonesty or intention to deceive: depending on the circumstances”, and that this could be done by interfering with the process of a game. Ivey’s legal team, however, argued that “cheating” should in fact include an element of dishonesty.

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