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@ Jeffrey Shaw 14.32 - para 50 of the judgement contains the critical detail. The appellant fixed the deck before the match, thus was a cheater.
"50. The judge’s conclusion, that Mr Ivey’s actions amounted to cheating, is unassailable. It is an essential element of Punto Banco that the game is one of pure chance, with cards delivered entirely at random and unknowable by the punters or the house. What Mr Ivey did was to stage a carefully planned and executed sting. The key factor was the arranging of the several packs of cards in the shoe, differentially sorted so that this particular punter did know whether the next card was a high value or low value one. If he had surreptitiously gained access to the shoe and re-arranged the cards physically himself, no one would begin to doubt that he was cheating. He accomplished exactly the same result through the unwitting but directed actions of the croupier, tricking her into thinking that what she did was irrelevant. As soon as the decision to change the cards was announced, thus restoring the game to the matter of chance which it is supposed to be, he first covered his tracks by asking for cards to be rotated at random, and then abandoned play. It may be that it would not be cheating if a player spotted that some cards had a detectably different back from others, and took advantage of that observation, but Mr Ivey did much more than observe; he took positive steps to fix the deck. That, in a game which depends on random delivery of unknown cards, is inevitably cheating. That it was clever and skilful,and must have involved remarkably sharp eyes, cannot alter that truth..."
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