Former Gambling Addict Loses Federal Court Case Against Crown Casino

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According to a recent report, a Federal court in Australia recently dismissed a case that claimed that the gambling machines at Crown Casino were deceptive to the point where they contributed to and actually encouraged gambling addiction. The case was brought on by 41-year old Australian Shonica Guy, who claimed that the overall design of the poker machine ‘Dolphin Treasure’ encouraged addiction. Justice Debbie Mortimer determined that the allegations against pokies (slot machines in the US) manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure and James Packer’s Crown Resorts has not been proven in a court of law. 

Aristocrat Leisure is Australia’s biggest pokies manufacturer and Crown Resort is one of the premier Australian casinos in the country. What this means for the casino industry as a whole is a step in the right direction when it comes to frivolous law suits aimed at tapping into the massive profits that casinos take in on an annual basis. Slots and Poker play is a multi-billion dollar industry on a global scale, so even though this case was formulated ‘Down Under’ it could have ripple effects across the entire casino gambling industry in both brick and mortar establishments as well on the Internet with online casinos.

One of the claims by Guy, who stated that she had lost 14 years of her life due to her gambling addiction to pokie machines is that the machine ‘Dolphin Treasure’ included design features that created the uneven spread of symbols that made losses appear to be near-misses. This lawsuit also claimed that overall losses were misrepresented as wins.  Lawyers for Ms. Guy argued that this game advertised an 87.8 percent rate of return to imply that for every dollar wagered on could expect to keep 87.8 percent of the total money that was gambled by a player. Judge Mortimer did concur that this “theoretical return to player” may be confusing as advertised. However, she did further clarify this statement by saying it would only be a ‘fleeting’ impression. The judge went on to also say “Any such impression would be dispelled as soon as she or he actually starts gambling and the randomness of the operation of the machine and the returns become apparent”. In a closing statement by Ms. Guy, she acknowledged that she was grateful to have her day in court “of behalf of all Australians who have been hurt by pokies”.

Looking at most of the comments that were attached to this gambling news article, the reaction from most showed very little sympathy for Ms. Guy and her stance that gambling machines were or are deceptive by nature.  By nature, the act of gambling implies risk. Most slot/poker machines are designed to attract attention and hopefully increased play whether they are on the floor of a casino or online on a computer or handheld mobile device. There will probably be more lawsuits blaming casinos and gambling software developers for someone’s addition problem to gambling, but hopefully this court case decision is a step in the right direction to dispelling this notion.

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