Crown Caught Tampering with Pokies AgainTia Winter | 29 May 2018
Aussie MP Andrew Wilkie may have found the last piece of evidence to condemn Crown Resorts Ltd. for good after publicising a video of a ‘Crown pick’ enabling autoplay on pokies machines that recently appeared on YouTube.
Wilkie, who has already contacted the YouTube whistle-blower, is confident that the new piece of evidence on pokies tampering will prompt gaming regulators in Victoria to start imposing stricter penalties against the massive casino operator, as reported by ABC News.
Plastic Pick Used for Misconduct
The MP also revealed to Australian reporters that a plastic pick – around twice the size of a regular guitar plectrum with a Crown logo on it – was used to tamper with the gaming machines. In a statement, he noted that he now has a new whistle-blower, new allegations, and a video of the picks being used to ‘illegally modify’ pokies at Crown Casino.
In the YouTube video in question, an anonymous dealer films a supposed Crown casino pick being jammed into the pokies’ buttons. The pick is presumably responsible for triggering continuous play modes on the pokies, even when no players are present. This could significantly reduce players’ loss rates by cutting the time between spins to just two seconds or less.
Armed with this evidence, Wilkie now questions whether Crown is deserving of its gaming license. He has also put pressure on the Victoria Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) to impose far stricter penalties on the operator, claiming that the regulator’s reputation and reliability are at stake in the matter.
Wilkie Calls on State Government
Wilkie has stated that if the Victorian regulator fails to do its duty, then the State Government must act. He also added that it should be considered whether other authorities, like the anti-corruption body, should become involved in the case.
In April this year, the VCGLR deemed Crown guilty of violating the Australian Gambling regulation Act of 2003 when the operator was found ‘adjusting’ its gambling machines. The authority imposed a hefty fine of AU$300,000 on the company – the highest fine ever levied on an Aussie operator to date.
Wilkie, however, was quick to dismiss the VCGLR’s move, saying that the fine was nothing more than ‘loose change’ for Crown, who has long been Australia’s largest gambling operator.