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Australia – Crown accused of rigging slot machines at The Star

By - 19 October 2017

Crown Resorts, the operator of The Star casino in Melbourne, has been accused of manipulating its slot machines to prevent players from betting smaller amounts.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has presented video evidence to the courts in Canberra following accusations from three former employees who claim they were told to modify buttons that allowed them to illegally auto-play. They were told to disable any options for lower bets so players were forced to play max bet.

Staff at the Melbourne casino were also told to use different identity cards for transactions of more than Aus$10,000 (US$75,000) to slip under the radar of Australia’s money-laundering entity AUSTRAC.
“If these allegations are true, then Crown would be facilitating money-laundering for any number of nefarious reasons, like tax fraud, drug-running and even terrorism,” Mr. Wilkie said. “Although the allegations focus on Crown in Melbourne, they could also suggest a broader pattern of behaviour in the poker machine industry which would obviously have grave implications for people right around Australia. I call on the Federal and Victorian governments to ensure the allegations are investigated thoroughly. The truth will not be uncovered without a parliamentary inquiry, as well as investigations by law enforcement and regulatory agencies.”

Crown Resorts refuted the claims, saying: “Crown rejects the allegations made under parliamentary privilege by Mr Andrew Wilkie MP, as reported in the media, concerning the improper manipulation of poker machines and other illegal or improper conduct at Crown Casino in Melbourne. Crown calls on Mr Wilkie to immediately provide to the relevant authorities all information relating to the matters alleged.”

State regulator Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) said: “We take any claims of this type extremely seriously and they will be thoroughly investigated.”

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