Scientific Game

Crown, Aristocrat on trial in landmark Australian slots case

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 06:59
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Australian gaming giants Aristocrat Leisure and Crown Resorts are at the center of a landmark court case this week with a former gambling addict alleging they indulged in “unconscionable conduct” that was “misleading and deceptive.”

The case revolves around the slot machine Dolphin Treasure which Shonica Guy claims is designed to mislead players by failing to accurately disclose the odds and disguising losses as wins.

“I started playing the pokies (slots) when I was 17,” Ms Guy said. “Poker machines took over my life for the next 14 years.

“This case is not about seeking compensation for what I lost — I just want to make sure what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else. What I want this case to show is that the industry knows their machines are addictive and design these machines to get us hooked. I’m looking forward to having my day in court to fight for honesty and fairness in the pokies industry.”

Ms Guy is seeking to have Dolphin Treasure banned, employing former Federal Court judge Ron Merkel QC to lead the case, which kicked off in Federal Court on Tuesday.

However, Neil Young QC for Crown defended the casino operator’s actions, noting that both Crown and the Dolphin Treasure slot machine software and display is regulated by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

CEO of Gaming Technologies Association – a local body representing gaming machine manufacturers – added that Aristocrat adhered to all Australian standards.

“These standards include requirements that gaming machines not give a player a false expectation of odds, they must accurately display the result of a game outcome and not be misleading, illusory or deceptive,” he said.

“Every aspect of poker machines operation is governed by stringent legislation, regulations and standards to ensure integrity and fairness and that strict oversight is maintained through the life of the machine.”

Tim Costello from the Alliance for Gambling Reform, one of the main groups supporting Ms Guy’s actions, told The Sydney Morning Herald, “Australia has strong consumer protection laws so putting dangerously addictive pokies on trial for misleading and deceptive conduct has given hope to everyone campaigning to wind back Australia's tragic record of being the biggest gamblers in the world.”

He added that the Australian public “was never asked if they wanted our pubs and clubs to be laden with the world's most dangerous and addictive poker machines. So let's see what Federal Court Justice Debbie Mortimer thinks after a trail-blazing three-week trial.”

 

 

 

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