An Australian politician is accusing Crown Resorts Ltd. of illegal slots tampering. This accusation comes just months after Crown owner James Packer dealt with a legal battle in China.
Three former Crown employees claim that there are “systematic breaches” in the slot machines. And lawmaker Andrew Wilkie said that he wants authorities to “thoroughly investigate” the matter.
Crown Cries Foul in Slots Tampering
According to Bloomberg, Crown has vehemently denied Wilkie’s statements. They also want the politician to provide evidence that the casino indeed tampered with slot machines.
It seems unlikely that a multi-billion casino corporation would be involved in slots tampering. However, the company doesn’t have the best reputation after China cracked down on Crown employees for promoting illegal gambling.
What did the Whistleblowers Say?
Wilkie recorded a 30-minute conversation with the three whistleblowers. The identities of the three men were disguised through voice alterations and image pixelation.
“These are very serious allegations,” said Wilkie, a staunch opponent of casino gambling. “They could indicate systemic issues in the broader poker-machine industry right around the country.”
The whistleblowers told Wilkie that slot machines (a.k.a. pokies) have buttons that can remain pressed down to continue generating bets. They also contend that some buttons were disabled so players don’t have a choice in how much they wager.
Another allegation by the three former employees is that Crown didn’t do a good enough job of clamping down on drug use and inebriation in their properties. This led to some violent incidents within the casinos.
What Happens Now?
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) will investigate Crown casinos on behalf of Wilkie’s allegations. “We take any claims of this type extremely seriously,” the agency stated.
Crown recently closed down some of their Asian casinos following the illegal gambling promotion case. Now they’re dealing with another problem that’s even closer to home.