Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Fourth whistleblower comes forward on Crown tampering case

A new whistleblower in the Crown pokies tampering case has come forward, alleging that the casino operator instructed staff to remove certain gambling options that allowed punters to win too much, ABC News reports.

The new claims adds weight to the testimony made by three former employees of Crown Casino in Melbourne which alleged the casino had tampered with pokies machines, amongst other illicit practises, which were tabled by independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

Crown emphatically rejected the allegations and called out Mr Wilkie to produce evidence of the claims at the time.

In an interview with ABC, the whistleblower, a technician working at the casino, said he was instructed to remove betting options on the Players Choice Super machine because punters were winning too much.

"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," he said.

In another case, technicians removed multiple “spin” options on the IGT Blue Chip machines so that only the maximum bet and minimum bet options were left.

"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," he said.

The whistleblower, who remains unidentified, said the order came from managers.

He said he has not gone to the police with fears that it would go to powerful people at Crown, and feared for his safety.

In response to the claims, Mr Wilkie said the latest allegations were serious, but acknowledged he did not know whether they were “true or false”.

"The next layer that's required is a [federal] 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," he told ABC News.

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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