The Crown Casino in Melbourne is in neck deep trouble after tampering with 17 poker machines without proper permissions from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. Owing to such a step, the casino has been possibly levied with a fine close to $300,000.

The machines have been tampered using the practice of blanking buttons where a working button is “blanked” with the net result of limiting a player’s available options. It is being inferred that the casino administrators took to this practice to derive more monetary profit at the cost of the customers by forcing them into making higher bets.

When the news surfaced, the casino denied all such allegations. However, after the required evidence was brought to light, they changed their story. They argued that only 17 out of 2628 machines were subjected to this practice as a ‘trial’. The trial was continued for three weeks, between March and April, last year.

According to the Crown Casino;

The commission’s view is that the trial involved varying a gaming machine type and certain games in a manner that required the commission’s prior approval. Crown Melbourne’s position is that the trial did not require prior approval, and therefore there has been no contravention of the GRA [Gambling Regulation Act].

The whistleblower, who works at the crown strongly disputed the “trial” argument put forward by his employers, however, telling ABC News

It was not a trial, it was basically put on the floor for them to see how much they could rip people off. The only reason it stopped and these machines were reverted back to the way they should have been was because a patron complained”.

He also said, “The machines were modified in order to maximise profits and eliminate betting options for the patrons so they were pretty much forced to play the highest bet line possible.

It is being anticipated that the casino would be penalised by the end of this week. However, since the casino has already profited over $1.1bn for the 1st half of this financial year, the potential fine of  $300,000 wouldn’t actually trouble the casino much.

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