In Australia, a fourth person has reportedly come forward to accuse local casino operator Crown Resorts Limited of illicitly tampering with some of the 2,628 slot machines located inside its Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex.
According to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the latest claim comes as the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor is conducting an official investigation into October allegations from a trio of former Crown Resorts Limited employees that the casino operator had unlawfully manipulated slots inside the Melbourne property while additionally ignoring evidence of drug abuse and domestic violence.
The newest whistleblower reportedly told ABC that one instance in 2016 saw Crown Resorts Limited instruct him and other technicians at the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex to illicitly remove some betting options from Players Choice Super machines due to worries that punters were winning too often.
“There was an instance where this particular game was paying out too much on the gamble function so technicians were instructed to remove the gamble button completely,” the unidentified Crown Resorts Limited employee reportedly told ABC. “It was physically removed.”
He also reportedly told the broadcaster that a second case saw Crown Resorts Limited command its team of Melbourne technicians to eliminate multiple ‘spin’ options from its collection of BlueChip slots so that only the maximum choice remained.
“The reason behind that was to limit the play options for the players, to encourage them to play maximum lines and, of course, win maximum amounts of money,” the anonymous employee reportedly told ABC.
ABC reported that the unnamed whistleblower, who was described as having ‘many years’ of work experience at the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex, moreover confirmed that Crown Resorts Limited had regularly relocated slots to higher traffic areas inside the Melbourne venue at weekends while additionally altering their ‘return to player’ ratios in its favor. The broadcaster explained that Victorian law stipulates that these machines must return at least 85% of their stakes to players but that this quotient can be easily changed via a software tweak.
“Not only moving machines into highly populated areas but there were instances where machines were wiped of their memory and the returned to player percentages modified over a weekend period and lowered,” the latest whistleblower reportedly told ABC.
Andrew Wilkie, the independent politician and anti-slot campaigner whose efforts in Federal Parliament last month led to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor launching its investigation, reportedly described the latest accusations against Crown Resorts Limited as ‘very serious’ before declaring that his team had handed over all of its evidence to police.
“The next layer that’s required is a Parliamentary inquiry because that will provide a framework for these and other whistleblowers perhaps to come forward and, with the protection of Parliament, to tell us what they know,” Wilkie reportedly told ABC’s News Breakfast program.