ATLANTIC CITY - Call it crazy, but they weren't playing with a full deck. Now they're paying the price.
Bally's Atlantic City was fined $18,000 and Showboat Casino Hotel was assessed a $10,000 penalty Wednesday by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission after it was discovered they had mistakenly used 51-card decks.
In Bally's case, a missing 7 of diamonds during blackjack games left the casino short of the standard 52-card deck for nearly eight hours on April 29, 2009.
Bally's staff ignored a warning light on an automatic shuffling machine that indicated a card was missing, believing there was a full deck instead, regulators said.
At Showboat, a 3 of hearts got stuck in a shuffling machine at a poker table for Texas Hold 'Em, but the missing card went undetected for about four hours on Sept. 24, 2008.
Gaming regulators said neither casino knew that the cards were missing and that both have since taken steps to prevent the problem from happening again. However, they noted that in both incidents, the Bally's and Showboat employees did not count the cards to verify a full deck was being used.
"The violations as to the number of cards in play and the failure to count the cards were due to employee error and not an attempt to intentionally violate the regulations," the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement concluded in a report about the infractions.
In other action Wednesday, the Casino Control Commission fined Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort $15,000 for allowing an underage gambler to play roulette in April 2009.
The commission assessed Resorts Atlantic City with a $20,000 penalty for not keeping the proper paperwork for its slot machines in June 2009.