Player Demanding that Pokies are Acknowledged as Deceptive
Shonica Guy, a recovering gambling addict, is taking Crown Casino and Australian pokies manufacturer, Aristocrat, to court over deceptive gaming machines. Ms Guy is looking for an admission that the machines are deceptive.
Maurice Blackburn, which is representing Ms Guy, will be contacting the companies over the Dolphin Treasure poker machine game which Ms Guy said she played for 14 years.
Researchers at Monash University examined the game and found that there is an uneven spread of symbols across the reels. The legal challenge will also focus on the design features of the game, specifically the way that losses are masked as wins through imagery and sounds.
Ms Guy admitted that she played the poker machine for 14 years and “was hooked”. She said she really believed she had a chance of winning until she realised that the machines trick players through their design, graphics and sounds.
“The machines are actually designed to take your money; as soon as I touched the machine I was hooked,” she said. “There is a fine line between gambling and entertainment.”
“I just want people to know that they are being conned.”
The Alliance on Gambling Reform is supporting the legal action, saying that poker machine losses are significant and the government is taking too long to deal with the issue. Pokies claim more than $11 billion in losses from Australian punters every year and a win in this case would have serious ramifications on the industry.
“We think it is reasonable for a player to assume that each reel has an even distribution of symbols,” stated Maurice Blackburn, principal and head of social justice practice, Jacob Varghese. “We want the machines to be fair; what you see should be what you get, but that is not the case.”
March 27, 2017