CASINO

Fourth Crown employee claims ‘pokies’ deliberately manipulated

TAGs: Australia, crown resorts

A fourth Crown Resorts employee has come forward to blow the whistle on the alleged manipulation and tampering of Crown Melbourne casino’s poker machines.

Fourth Crown employee claims ‘pokies’ deliberately manipulatedABC News reported that an unnamed worker has attested to the veracity of the claims of three other ex-Crown casino employees that the casino operator has given its blessing to alter its gaming machines to prevent punters from winning too much.

The new witness was described by the news outlet as someone who worked at Crown Melbourne “for many years.” The latest witness told the news outlet that he, along with other technicians, were ordered “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, according to the report.

Multiple “spin” options on the IGT Blue Chip machines were removed so that punters could only choose between the maximum and minimum bet options.

His testimony, according to the report, echoed the allegations that the three other whistleblowers made in October, which prompted federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie to dig deeper into the issue.

When asked whether he had spoken to the authorities, the fourth witness expressed fears over his safety and that he might be identified to powerful people at Crown.

“I knew that it was unethical when I heard about the conversation with the analyst saying it was to encourage players to spend more money and limit their play options,” he said.

Wilkie, for his part, surprisingly took the testimony of the latest witness with a grain of salt as the MP pointed out that he hasn’t vetted the newest allegations yet.

“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 Breakfast.

A Crown spokesman, meanwhile, told the news agency that “any allegations of this nature should be referred to the [Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation].”

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