Crown Under Fire Again over Fresh Tampering Allegations

Crown Resorts’ pokies tampering scandal has been brought back into the spotlight this week after a whistleblower came forward with fresh allegations against the operator, local media reports.

The woman, a former pokies high-spender, has alleged that Crown Casino staff in the past provided her with small, branded plastic picks, used to hold down poker machine betting buttons, allowing for automatic, continuous play.

She also alleged that Crown gaming floor staff provided her with multiple loyalty cards so that she could rack up loyalty points simultaneously from multiple machines.

She approached independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie with evidence and a detailed testimony.

On Tuesday, Wilkie handed over these documents to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) for investigation.

“I have raised them with the VCGLR personally earlier today,” said Wilkie.

“And I have also written to the chief commissioner of Victoria Police and suggested police also need to look at these matters, because if these matters are true, they would be criminal.”

“It is potentially very hard, indisputable evidence,” he added.

The latest allegations are a further blow to claims made last year against the Australian operator, alleging that pokie machine technicians were ordered to shave down buttons on pokie machines in the venue to allow for wedges to be inserted in the gaps.

The technicians also claimed they were instructed to make illegal alterations to the casino’s poker machines, removing or blanking out low-betting options.

The Victorian gaming regulator last month announced it has launched disciplinary proceedings over the alleged tampering of pokie machines, with penalties including fines, or even a suspension of its casino license.

Crown however argued that the alterations were part of a three-week “trial” on only 17 pokie machines, and insisted that it did not require prior approval.

Mr. Wilkie on Tuesday said Crown should not have its license renewed until all the allegations have been fully investigated.” (AGB)