Australian gambler Shonica Guy is suing Crown Casino and Aristocrat games over their slot machines. But Guy doesn’t want her losses back – instead she wants both companies to admit that their slots are “deceptive.”
Her attorney, Maurice Blackburn, is taking this case pro bono and will write to Crown and Aristocrat about their popular slot, Dolphin Treasure.
“The machines are actually designed to take your money. As soon as I touched the machine I was hooked. There is a fine line between gambling and entertainment,” Guy said.
“I just want people to know that they are being conned.”
Dolphin Treasure has since been analyzed by researchers at Monash University over its legitimacy. And Blackburn wants to point out the uneven spread of symbols needed across five reels.
According to The Age, the lawsuit will also look at the sounds and images seen during losses, intended to disguise them as wins and keep people playing.
Ms. Guy began playing slots, also called “poker machines” or “pokies” in Australia, when she was 17. She’s since been playing for 14 years at various clubs around the Adelaide area, and makes trips to Melbourne’s Crown Casino, which is a few hundred miles away.
“It took over my life, half my life was wasted,” said Guy. “I was hypnotized for a decade, I didn’t know I was hooked, then someone said, ‘I think you are hooked’.”
“I thought I had a fair chance of winning, but I found out that they are rigged. They trick with design features.”
Payback information for many slot machines is clear with a little research. Many land-based slots only pay back around 90% of slots players’ total bets.
But Guy is adamant that Crown and their Aristocrat machines are purposely designed to create the sense that players are winning – even if they’re losing.
Guy’s case is being supported by the Alliance for Gambling Reform, which wants to see action taken on the money that players are losing through poker machines.
Tim Costello believes that Guy needs support from the alliance if she’s to win against Crown and their owner, billionaire James Packer.
“This is the people versus Packer. And it’s about time the people had a real win,” said Costello.
“Adding Aristocrat to the case means it’s now become David versus Goliaths. There are effectively two Goliaths. We can’t let pokies money win the day this time.”