The Sydney Morning Herald reported Crown Resorts went on the offensive at the start of the hearing of a landmark lawsuit filed against the casino operator and game technology provider Aristocrat, poking holes in the arguments raised by problem gambler Shonica Guy.
Guy earlier claimed that the popular Dolphin Treasure pokie machines in Crown casinos were designed to entrap users like her. She wanted the court to declare the game to be unlawful.
Guy’s claim is based on the Dolphin Treasure machines having symbols that are unevenly distributed across its five reels. The final reel contains fewer winning symbols in order to make it harder for punters to win.
Crown lawyers argued that Guy’s arguments lack common sense, especially since these machines all along have uneven spread of symbols on their reels.
“Fanciful proposition” was how Barrister Neil Young QC, who represented Crown in the hearing, described Guy’s claims.
Debunking allegations that Guy was like a sheep being led to her doom, Young pointed out that the machines provide players information on the various odds of achieving the top-five and bottom-five winning combinations of symbols.
It is “common sense” for players to read the information before playing the game, according to Young.
“No one could assume that the symbols are evenly distributed; that would be a fanciful proposition,” the Crown lawyer explained, according to the news report. “This is a clear distortion of the [return to player].”
Young went on to assure Justice Debbie Mortimer that the casino operator went “above and beyond” its responsible-gambling obligations, distributing government-supported brochures to players in all Crown casinos.
The Crown lawyer noted that the brochures contain information on the risks of playing pokies.
Crown, meanwhile, distanced itself from the complaint on the design of the pokie machines, saying that the firm does “nothing more than make the machines available.”
“The only allegation against us is that we made them available,” Mr Young said. “We are doing no more than conducting a lawful business.”