The cards came up lucky for dozens of casino owners Tuesday when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied class status to video poker players who claimed their electronic cards were marked -- by computer programmers.
The court held that class status wasn't possible because the nature of gambling made each claim of financial loss uniquely individual and, therefore, not based on any common misrepresentation by the casinos.
"As the unique facts of this case demonstrate," Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote, "'the infinite variety of claims that may arise make it virtually impossible to announce a black-letter rule that will dictate the result in every case.'"
Judges J. Clifford Wallace and Consuelo Callahan joined in the ruling.
It was a rare defeat for "David Boies -- who took on Bill Gates and Microsoft on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, represented Napster in its Internet music fight, and litigated on behalf of Al Gore in the 2000 Florida election recount . . . ." But it was a big win for the casinos: "[T]he proposed class would have encompassed nearly everyone who had played video poker or electronic slot machines at more than 60 casinos within the past 15 years."