An Australian Federal court has clear Crown Resorts Casinos and Aristocrat, an Australian slot developer, in a court case related to slot machines and gambling addiction. This was a major court case that could have changed the gambling industry in Australia, had the result been different. However, even though Aristocrat and Crown Resorts have been cleared in this case, it is likely to have a ripple effect in Australia and, possibly, around the world.
Lawsuit Aims at Aristocrat Slot Machine
The case was brought to the court by Shonica Guy, a woman who says she lost 14 years of her life to gambling addiction. She claimed that one of Aristocrat’s games, Dolphin Treasure, was deliberately designed to deceive and mislead players. She filed the lawsuit against Crown Resort and Aristocrat in September 2017, with the hopes that some culpability for gambling addiction could be placed with the gambling industry.
The lawsuit claimed that the slot game used several tricks to deliberately mislead players and keep them playing. These included adding additional symbols onto the fifth reel and regularly making loses look like they had nearly been wins. The court did find some of her arguments compelling but ultimately did not agree that Aristocrat had broken any laws.
Aristocrat Cleared, Future Still Uncertain
Another aspect the court agreed with was that the ‘Return to player’ (RTP) could be misleading. For the game in question, it was stated as 87.8%, and Guy’s legal team argued that this would cause many players to expect to get nearly 88% of their wagers back. However, the court also said that playing for any period of time would dispel this, as players would quickly learn about the completely random nature of the game. We advise players always keep themselves informed on how these figures are worked out. The RTP is calculated over thousands of wagers and includes jackpot wins, so for the average player, they’re more likely to lose most of their bankroll.
While Aristocrat and Crown Resorts will be breathing a sigh of relief, this case could just be the beginning. Some have likened it to 50 years spent taking the tobacco industry to court before the issues of smoking were properly addressed. This case could be the start of something similar with regards to gambling addiction in Australia, and it could spread to other parts of the world.