Unlike in Canada, gambling has always been a bit of a point of contention in Australia. With stricter laws on land-based and online gambling in place, players are unsure of where they stand most of the time. Despite all this, players generally know what they are getting into when they sit at their favourite slot machine or log on online. Now, it seems Australia is caught up with an unusual legal battle to determine the legality of certain slots machines.
The case as it stands, centres on a woman by the name of Shonica Guy who suffers from gambling addiction. Guy is claiming that a particular slots machine is entirely “misleading” and actually designed entrap the inexperienced, the vulnerable and the elderly. It has since transpired that the particular casino where the machine is based is owned by Crown Resorts.
In a new development, Crown Resorts has actually appeared in court to defend, not only the machine’s existence, but also their reputation. The court case was initiated when Guy lost big on the slots and decided to have the Dolphin Treasure game deemed unlawful. Despite her financial setback, reports suggest that she will not be seeking any damages. According to Guy, the Dolphin Treasure machine is misleading. While it appears to be a standard 5-reel slot, the game has an uneven distribution of symbols on the 5th reel. It must be pointed out that this is not a something that is unheard of, as many slots have the same setup.
Apparently, Guy is also attempting to sue the game developer, Aristocrat. The case has gained a lot of attention in Australia where the focus is shifting towards the ethics of fixed odds betting and slots. Players in Canada and across the globe have also been watching with interest, as this is the first time this type of case has ever come to light. The case seems to have very little grounding and for their part, Crown Resorts have not been shy to point out the facts. The company’s lawyers described the charges against the machine as ‘fanciful proposition’.
Their defence rests on the fact that is seems common sense for all players to read and understand the information provided on the machines themselves. This information outlines the odds and rules of the game and is available to everyone. Justice Debra Mortimer, the judge for the case also noted that Crown Resorts does more than their fair share of responsible gambling obligations. The company apparently distributes government-endorsed leaflets to players who enter their casinos, which is more than can be said of many other casinos locally and abroad.
The case is sure to garner more attention as it unfolds, and Canadian slot fans will be keeping tabs on what the outcome is, as it certainly is a very unusual legal battle.