Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd (T/A Crockfords): SC 25 Oct 2017

The claimant gambler sought payment of his winnings. The casino said that he had operated a system called edge-sorting to achieve the winnings, and that this was a form of cheating so as to excuse their payment. The system exploited tiny variances in the appearance of the sides of playing cards, and the manipulation of the dealers to help identify cards as they were dealt.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. The Court considered what was the meaning of cheating and dishonesty. The game was intended as a game of pure chance. Identifying cards in this way fundamentally undermined the basis of the game. The manipulation of the croupier was dishonest.
The difference in the meaning of dishonesty as between civil and criminal contexts should no longer be maintained. The second limb of the test for dishonesty established on Ghosh, which was that the jury should ask whether the defendant thought himself that his actions were dishonest could no longer be maintained. The law should not excuse those who make a mistake about contemporary standards of honesty, one purpose of the criminal law is to set acceptable standards of behaviour. The tests settled for civil actions was solely an objective one, as to the standards of honesty of the lay objective standards of ordinary and reasonable people. That test should now be applied in both contexts.
‘When dishonesty is in question the fact-finding tribunal must first ascertain (subjectively) the actual state of the individual’s knowledge or belief as to the facts. The reasonableness or otherwise of his belief is a matter of evidence (often in practice determinative) going to whether he held the belief, but it is not an additional requirement that his belief must be reasonable; the question is whether it is genuinely held. When once his actual state of mind as to knowledge or belief as to facts is established, the question whether his conduct was honest or dishonest is to be determined by the fact-finder by applying the (objective) standards of ordinary decent people. There is no requirement that the defendant must appreciate that what he has done is, by those standards, dishonest.’
Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Hughes, Lord Thomas
[2017] UKSC 67, UKSC 2016/0213, [2018] AC 391, [2018] 1 Cr App R 12, [2017] WLR(D) 708, [2017] LLR 783, [2018] 2 All ER 406, [2017] Lloyd’s Rep FC 561, [2017] 3 WLR 1212, [2018] Crim LR 395
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, SC am 13 Jul 17, SC pm 13 Jul 17, SC Summary video
Gambling Act 2005 334 335
England and Wales
At First InstanceIvey v Genting Casinos UK Ltd (T/A Crockfords Club) QBD 8-Oct-2014
The claimant, a professional gambler, sued the defendant casino for his winnings. The club replied that the claimant’s methods amounted to a form of cheating, and that no liability arose to pay the winnings.
Held: The claim failed. ‘The fact . .
CitedRegina v Governor of Brixton Prison, Ex parte Sjoland and Metzler CA 1912
The defendant was found guilty of cheating when winning a three card trick by the use of ‘sleight of hand’ . .
Appeal fromIvey v Genting Casinos UK Ltd (T/A Crockfords Club) CA 4-Nov-2016
The claimant sought recovery of his substantial winnings from the defendant gaming club. The club had resisted saying that the methods used by the claimant at cards, called, ‘edge sorting’ was a form of cheating, a criminal offence within the . .
CitedWelham v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 1961
The House considered what was required to establish an ‘intent to defraud’.
Held: Lord Radcliffe said: ‘Now, I think that there are one or two things that can be said with confidence about the meaning of this word ‘ defraud ‘. It requires a . .
CitedRegina v Williams 1953
The defendant, a sup-post office mistress, appealed against her conviction for larceny by the use of of ‘false pretences’.
Held: When considering the word ‘fraudulently’ from the phrase ‘fraudulently and without claim of right made in good . .
CitedRegina v Feely CACD 1973
In relation to a charge of theft where the issue of dishonesty is raised, the issue must be left to the jury. Dishonesty is not a matter of law, but a jury question of fact and standards. Except to the limited extent that section 2 of the Theft Act . .
CitedScott v Metropolitan Police Commissioner; Regina v Scott HL 20-Nov-1974
The defendant had been accused of conspiracy to produce pirate copies of films obtained by purchasing copies from cinema owners without the knowledge or consent of the copyright owners.
Held: To establish a conspiracy to defraud, it was not . .
OverruledRegina v Ghosh CACD 5-Apr-1982
The defendant surgeon was said to have made false claims for payment for operations, and was charged under the 1968 Act. He claimed to have been entitled to the sums claimed, and denied that he had been dishonest. The court considered the meaning of . .
CitedHayes, Regina v CACD 21-Dec-2015
The defendant appealed from his conviction for conspiracy to defraud in connection with the alleged manipulation of the Yen LIBOR.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘the critical issue for the jury’s consideration in this case was whether they believed . .
CitedRegina v Gilks CACD 27-Jun-1972
The appellant had placed a bet at a betting shop on a certain horse. A horse with a similar name won, but by mistake the shop paid out on the bet. The appellant knew of the mistake, but refused to return the winnings. He now appealed against his . .
CitedChurch of the New Faith v Commissioner of Pay-Roll Tax (Victoria) 27-Oct-1983
(High Court of Australia) Meaning of religion – scientology church application for tax exemption. The trend is towards a ‘newer, more expansive, reading’ of religion. However ‘Religious conviction is not a solvent of legal obligation.’
High . .
CitedBarlow Clowes International Ltd and Another v Eurotrust International Ltd and others PC 10-Oct-2005
(Court of Appeal of the Isle of Man) Defendants appealed a finding of dishonest assistance in the activities of Barlow Clowes.
Held: The judge had been able to reach the conclusions on the basis of the evidence. The appeal of the deemster . .
CitedStarglade Properties Ltd v Nash CA 19-Nov-2010
It is ultimately for the court to decide, as it must in the case of the standard of honesty to be expected in dealing of businessmen and trustees, whether or not conduct amounts to cheating. The standard is objective.
Leveson LJ identified the . .
CitedRegina v Greenstein; Regina v Green CACD 1975
Meaning of dishonesty under the 1968 Act. . .
CitedCornelius, Regina v CACD 14-Mar-2012
The defendant appealed against his conviction for fraud under the 2006 Act, saying that the judge had wrongly failed to give a Ghosh direction. As a solicitor he had organised a scheme for buying properties, obtaining finance by the nomination of . .
CitedRegina v McIvor CA 1982
The defendant had been refused a loan by his employers. He took the money anyway from the till and repaid it. On discovery he was charged with theft. He denied that he had been dishonest. He had always intended to repay it and had done so. He . .
CitedRegina v Landy; Regina v White etc CACD 1982
The defendants appealed against convictions for conspiracy to defraud. The three were bank employees including the chairman, and between them managed to take money from the bank by different forms of malpractice. The defendants denied dishonesty, . .
ApprovedRoyal Brunei Airlines SDN BHD v Tan PC 24-May-1995
(Brunei) The defendants were a one-man company, BLT, and the one man, Mr Tan. A dishonest third party to a breach of trust was liable to make good a resulting loss even though he had received no trust property. The test of knowledge was an objective . .
CitedTwinsectra Ltd v Yardley and Others HL 21-Mar-2002
Solicitors acted in a loan, giving an undertaking as to its application. In breach of that undertaking they released it to the borrower. The appellants appealed a finding of liability as contributors to the breach.
Held: ‘Money in a . .
CitedRostron and Another, Regina v CACD 16-Jul-2003
The defendants appealed from their conviction for theft having gone at night to a golf course to recover golf balls from a water hazard on the course. They said that the golf balls had been abandoned by their owners . .
CitedAbou Rahmah and others v Abacha and others CA 8-Nov-2006
The appellants were victims of a fraud conducted via the respondent bank by one of their clients. They appealed from a decision that the bank was not liable to the victims either in the equitable tort of knowing or dishonest assistance in a breach . .

Cited by:
CitedZC v Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust QBD 26-Jul-2019
Defamation/privacy claims against doctors failed
The claimant, seeking damages for alleged defamation, now asked for the case to be anonymised.
Held: The conditions for anonymisation were not met. The anonymity would be retained temporarily until any time for appeal had passed.
As to . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 May 2021; Ref: scu.597668