Further Damning Allegations Made Against Crown Casino

Further Damning Allegations Made Against Crown CasinoA few months after pokie machine tampering allegations were made against the Crown Casino in Melbourne, new allegations of improper conduct have come to light after a former regular at the venue accused them of encouraging her to use a “pick” to squeeze between slot machine buttons and allow for automatic continuous play. Commenting upon the latest development, Federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie stated:
“If these allegations are found to be accurate, then I would be firmly of the view that the people who hold the license are not fit and proper people to hold that license and it should be taken off them. This is potentially very hard and indisputable evidence.”
Crown-Branded Picks
On Tuesday, hard evidence was produced that special Crown-branded picks were allegedly used to interfere with slot machine operations and allow punters to play without having to push buttons. Casino operators are forbidden by law from tampering or modifying pokie machines in the state of Victoria, but according to a former gambler at the James Packer owned casino continuous play contributed to her losses which amounted to around $30,000 on each visit to the venue.
According to Dr Charles Livingstone, Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, continuous play is one of the most dangerous practices a gambling venue could encourage, and in no way represented responsible behavior. Elaborating further, he explained:
“What it does is it turns a machine, where you are supposed to make a decision every time you push the button, into a fully automatic device.. and [it] will consume literally hundreds of dollars in a very short space of time.”
Multiple Loyalty Cards
The whistleblower, who has agreed to be interviewed by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), also accused the Crown Casino of giving her multiple loyalty card to encourage her to play a number of pokies at the same time and so harvest extra points from the various machines.
MP Andrew Wilkie said that the VCGLR has now been presented with hard evidence of Crown-branded picks and multiple loyalty cards, which “certainly raised a couple of eyebrows” at a meeting with the regulator. He further noted that the woman may have inadvertently been breaking the law, with her allegation having now been referred to the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Aston.
VCGLR Disciplinary Proceedings
Disciplinary proceedings have already been launched against Crown Casino concerning previous allegations made last year concerning slot machine tampering, with the accusations having been made by two former pokie machine technicians, and a casino employee. They subsequently asserted that Crown regularly changed the winning odds of pokies, allowed button-jamming picks, and even told employees to turn a blind eye to customers using other people’s identity cards to secure cash transactions that might otherwise be flagged by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
At the time, these allegations were vehemently denied by Crown Casino, which stated that the pokie tampering was part of a trial experiment being conducted that did not require prior approval. The latest accusations, however, appear very incriminating and will now require a plausible explanation from Crown in order to address the hard evidence that has now come to light.
Casino operators in Australia have a public commitment to adhere to gaming regulations, encourage fair gambling, and protect problem gamblers. If allegations made against Crown are found to be correct, then they will contradict the promises made by the casino, and could ultimately result in its gaming license being revoked.

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