Star Entertainment to Lift Ban on Players Accused of Edge Sorting

In 2018, leading Australian integrated resort company Star Entertainment decided to ban two of its players from all properties. The reason was an alleged case of cheating via the edge sorting method. According to an Australian judge, the casino operator now has to lift its imposed ban on Mark Timothy Grant and Nathan Trent Anderson. While the two players will no longer be on Star’s blacklist, that does not mean that the operator will stop keeping a close eye on them. 

Sloppy Dealers & Card Flaws – the Edge Sorting Technique 

In 2018, while visiting the Star Gold Coast casino in Queensland, professional gambler Grant and his friend Anderson used the so-called edge sporting technique. This means that the duo took advantage of “sloppy dealers” and a series of card manufacturing flaws or imperfections in order to gain an advantage over the house. In the spring of the same year, Star decided to ban the two on accusations of using the respective technique. 

The operator considered that the fact that the two were able to identify manufacturing mistakes in the casino’s cards helped them determine the likely outcomes of the games they were playing. The two engaged in games of Pontoon, which is a Spanish variant of Blackjack. They used the flawed card guessing method to foretell which cards they would be dealt next. 

Once the operator found out about their practices, the two were cut off on claims that edge sorting was in violation of gambling laws since it relies on “dishonest” activities. 

In 2020, Grant and Anderson decided to file a complaint in Queensland, asking the court to overturn Star’s ban. Last week, their requirement was given the green light. Grant claimed that provided the casino’s personnel would have been more competent, the two would not have been able to gain an edge over the house. He added that the casino used cards that were supplied by Angel, a card manufacturer which allegedly had flaws in their cards.

The Duo Did Not Beat the House Illegally 

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal judge said the due did not use “any form of dishonesty” that involved “lying, cheating, stealing or fraud by the ordinary meaning of the word”. At the same time, the judge recognized that both Grant and Anderson may have used the edge sorting technique to gain an advantage over the house, but that they did not do anything illegal. The judge ruled the pair made the best of all the information that was available to them to decide their moves at the tables.

Of all the cards in play, 33% of them had flaws. Only 13% of those flawed cards had a high value. Nonetheless, the judge acknowledge that there was no way to know the real value of the cards even with the help of edge sorting. In other words, the court considered the gamblers did not have a huge advantage over the house. At the end of July, Star Entertainment announced the group had a nice revenue recovery in FY2022.