Crown Casino is king down under when it comes to the Australia casino and real money gambling industry. However, the company’s bank account is a bit lighter these days due to recent fines levied for slot machine violations.
As reported by Every1bets.com in a recent post on its website, Australia’s Crown Casino will have to pay a fine of $225,000 (in US dollars) for tampering with its slot machines to limit betting options. Referred to as ‘blanking’ in this report, regulators discovered that certain functions had been covered on the ‘pokies,’ which is how locals refer to this gambling devices down under. It was also reported that the fine given to Melbourne’s Crown casino is believed to be the largest amount that regulators have ever levied in the country.
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This is not the first negative issue surrounding the Crown operation in recent times, but it could be the most damaging to its tarnished reputation. The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is Australia’s chief governing body for these types of matters. The VCGLR stated that the casino employed the use of “blanking plates” on 17 different pokies (video slot machines) during a trial program in 2017.
Also, this left real money gamblers with only a minimum and maximum betting option when using these machines.
In a quoted statement by the VCGLR in this report, it went on to say that, “This is the largest fine the commission has issued to Crown and it reflects the seriousness with which it considers the matter.” Previous research into the global casino industry reflects the fact that Australian gamblers lose more money per head that any other nation with legalized real money casinos.
One aspect of the matter that was uncovered was that Crown did not intentionally try to break any laws. The regulator in charge of the investigation concluded that the trial program did not affect the ratio of returns to the gamblers using these 17 machines. However, it added that the severity of the penalty is designed to deter casino operators “from varying machines without approval.”
Making matters worse for Crown was the fact that it previously had denied that it had altered its machines in any way. Once it became rather apparent that the pokies were tampered with, the company admitted to the violation as part of this three-week test program.An official statement from Crown concerning this matter was released late las t week. It went on to state, “While Crown Melbourne’s position throughout the 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.”
This matter arose last year when MP Andrew Wilkie presented the matter to parliament based on the statements he received from some whistleblowers close to the situation. Following last week’s ruling, he was quoted as saying, “This is a very serious offense for which Crown should stand condemned. However, I do not accept Crown’s explanation this-this was only a trial because there is an abundance of evidence that the practice has been much more widespread.”