The largest casino operator in Australia, Crown Resorts, has faced brand-new allegations of making certain modifications to its poker machines in an attempt of increasing gambling profits.
A former Crown’s flagship Melbourne casino property patron has reached the independent Member of Parliament Andrew Wilkie with the allegations and provided thorough testimony on the matter to the competent authorities. The woman, whose name has not been revealed, made claims that the staff at the gaming-floor staff at the Melbourne casino venue provided her with small plastic picks that could be used to jam the pokies’ betting buttons in order to allow continuous and automatic play.
The former big-spending poker machine player further claimed that the employees also gave her a number of loyalty cards so she could earn so-called loyalty points from the pokies she was given the chance to play at once.
The allegations have been raised by MP Wilkie to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), which is the local casino regulatory body, as well as to the police. The evidence, including the plastic picks and loyalty cards handed to the player, was presented by Mr. Wilkie to the competent authorities.
Could Crown Face License Revocation under New Allegations?
Previously, several whistleblowers accused the Australian gambling operator in breaching the gambling laws by deliberately hiding potential money laundering practices and by poker machines misconduct in the brand’s property in Melbourne. The VCGLR had assessed the first allegations and information provided by the whistleblowers and was pursuing further disciplinary proceedings against the gambling company over the blanking of buttons the operator was accused in.
Now, MP Andrew Wilkie insisted that the evidence is “indisputable” and shared that if the allegations were found to be true, the license of the operator should be taken off.
According to the evidence presented by Mr. Wilkie, the woman used to lose about AU$30,000 every time she went to the casino, with employees at the gambling floor giving her with multiple loyalty cards which provided her with the opportunity to play several poker machines simultaneously. If these claims are proved to be true, Crown Casino would have some very serious questions to answer and would be facing extremely serious charges. Currently, modifying poker machines in the state of Victoria is considered a criminal activity. Furthermore, providing a patron with a device allowing them to play continuously the machines is also a crime under Victoria state laws.
According to one of the gambling and public health experts working at Monash University, Charles Livingstone, jamming the pokies’ buttons for such continuous play, could probably be described as the most dangerous practice that could be encouraged by the staff at a gambling venue. Mr. Livingstone shared that such a behaviour could not be described as responsible one under any circumstances in case that the allegations are proved as true.