A landmark case in Australia has come to an end, and two powerful gambling operators have had their names cleared of charges ranging from misleading players to deception. Both Crown, the Australian casino giant and the slot machine maker, Aristocrat were told by the Federal Court judge in Melbourne that the case that was brought against them by a former gambling addict, would be dismissed.
Shonica Guy, represented by the law firm Maurice Blackburn, claimed that the design of Dolphin Treasure electronic pokie, found at Melbourne's Crown Casino, mispresented the player's chances of winning a prize. Guy claimed that the uneven spread of symbols, as well as the fact that the final reel on the game had more symbols than the rest, made Dolphin Treasure seem misleading and deceptive to players.
Randomness of Pokies
However, Justice Debbie Mortimer, threw the case out of her court after it was found that the allegations against the two public-listed companies could not be proven.
The judge said that the machine's design features could not be deemed misleading.
"Any such impression formed would be dispelled as soon as she or he actually starts gambling and the randomness of the operation of the machine and returns become apparent," she wrote. "The impression is fleeting and may cause confusion but it is not misleading or deceptive as the law defines those concepts."
Operators Comply with Stringent Regime
Also of interest was the fact that Justice Mortimer stressed that both Crown and Aristocrat complied with what she termed "a detailed and comprehensive regulatory regime."
"That includes assessments about the fairness of the way and electronic gaming machine operators, prohibits certain kids of features, but not others, and includes approval of particular machines, such as the 'Dolphin Treasure'", she wrote.
High Integrity Pokie Business
Following the ruling, Aristocrat put out a statement saying that it had said throughout that the company is a high-integrity business which takes its regulatory obligations very seriously.
"We strive to scrupulously uphold our obligations with respect to electronic gaming machine compliance," they said.