Crown Resorts Fined for Slot Tampering

fine slot tampering

The gambling industry can sometimes prove to be quite unforgiving. With stiff competition, an organization may be forced to devise new tactics for it to survive. Unfortunately, such moves normally come with the risk of getting into trouble with the law. The outcome can be very costly, as Crown Resorts realized.

Background of the Fine

What happened with Crown Resorts is the biggest scandal the betting industry has seen in 25 years. The Australian company was slapped with fined after it was discovered that it “button blanked” several of the slot machines at its Melbourne casino. The gambling company was consequently fined $270,000 by the Australian State of Victoria, which operates as the regulator. Furthermore, Crown Resorts was instructed to prepare a contemporary compliance document. It was given a maximum timeframe of six months to do so. This would stop the company from engaging in unfairly dealings in the future. However, there are those who believe the punishment was not large enough of a deterrent.

What Led to the Fine?

It was discovered Crown Resorts had hidden and restricted betting options by using blanking plates. That means a player could only have a maximum of two betting options to choose from instead of the normal five. The betting company obviously intended to gain unfairly from the process. This is against the set rules of conduct. The regulator opined that the usage of the plates to reduce the number of betting options amounted to a variation of the gaming slots. Such an act needs to be approved by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR). By failing to do so, Crown Resorts was operating against the provisions of the Gambling Regulation Act of 2003.

The VCGLR discovered, however, there were no malicious intentions on the part of the company. It was an innocent trial process the company was undergoing. According to Crown Resorts, the act was the result of a small number of workers who didn’t think it was necessary to get permission before making the adjustments.

What began as an act of curiosity ended up costing the company thousands of dollars. Perhaps it is time the company reread the regulations, so it can avoid other issues in the future. The desperate efforts by Crown Resorts to try and mitigate the situation were not enough to help it escape the authorities. The company had to pay for the mischief of its employees.

The investigations into misconduct began last year. The VCGLR received anonymous complaints from people who claimed to be former employees of the company.

From the allegations filed by the whistleblowers, Crown Resorts had reduced the number of betting buttons. This way, clients would be betting endlessly. Moreover, the casino failed to abide by anti-money laundering policies and did not bother to stop people who were using various drugs on its premises. However, VCGLR said it was able to attach facts to the allegations, and determined they were not true.

The Proportionality of the Remedy

Inasmuch as Crown Resorts maintained that conducting the trial activities did not need any form of regulation and, as a result, said the verdict by the VCGLR  was unfair, it said it was ready to abide by it.

Interestingly, there are those individuals who believe that the fine was not enough punishment. To them, the company deserved something more than a slap on the wrist. Fining the company such a small amount might have looked like a serious punishment, but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, betting companies are known to pocket millions of dollars very frequently. So, the company probably never even felt the financial pinch.

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