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Crown casino fined for ‘blanking’ slot machines

Crown casino fined for ‘blanking’ slot machines
April 27, 2018

Melbourne's Crown casino has been fined $300,000 for tampering with its poker machines to limit betting options.

The penalty imposed by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is believed to be the largest of its kind issued by regulators in Australia, according to anti-gambling advocates.

The matter came to light when VCGLR officials found that buttons on pokies at Australia's biggest casino had been covered up on the slot machines.

The VCGLR said the casino had used "blanking plates" on 17 machines during a "trial program" last year, meaning that gamblers were left with only maximum and minimum options.

In a statement the regulator advised "this is the largest fine the commission has issued to Crown and reflects the seriousness with which it considers the matter."

VCGLR acknowledged that the trial had not affected the ratio of returns to gamblers, and that the casino had not "deliberately intended" to breach laws.

However, it said the penalty should deter casino operators "from varying machines without approval".

Crown had previously denied altering its machines, before admitting to doing so during a three-week period.

It advised "while Crown Melbourne's position throughout this process was that the Gaming Machine Trial did not require the prior approval of the Commission, Crown Melbourne respects the Commission's decision, which brings this process to a close."

Last year, Federal MP Andrew Wilkie presented whistleblower statements to the Australian Parliament which alleged the casino had altered its machines and breached player regulations.

After today's ruling, Wilkie advised "this is a very serious offence for which Crown should stand condemned.

"However, I do not accept Crown's explanation that this was only a trial, because there is an abundance of evidence that the practice has been more widespread."

Crown won a landmark court case in February against a former gambling addict who argued that she had been misled by "deceptive" design features in one of the casino's gaming machines. 

21st March 2018 - JAMES PACKER RESIGNS FROM CROWN RESORTS CITING MENTAL HEALTH REASONS

26th June 2017 - CHINA JAILS AUSTRALIAN CROWN RESORTS STAFF FOR PROMOTING GAMBLING 

4th October 2016 - GAMBLING REVENUE DIPS AT CROWN PERTH AS VISITOR NUMBERS FALL

3rd April 2015 - PERISHER SKI RESORT SOLD TO US COMPANY VAIL RESORTS

5th July 2013 - NSW GOVERNMENT APPROVES PACKER PLAN FOR SECOND SYDNEY CASINO 

27th May 2013 - CROWN CASINO TO SHED 50 JOBS IN MELBOURNE


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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