Court Battle To Claim Poker Machines ‘Misleading’ and ‘Deceptive’
26 October 2016 at 8:52 am
The not-for-profit anti-gambling advocacy group, Alliance for Gambling Reform, is supporting a landmark federal court battle, with a former poker machine addict, against Crown Casino and machine manufacturer Aristocrat.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn will file writs in the Federal Court on Wednesday.
The law firm said the case against Crown and Aristocrat was designed to prove poker machines were deliberately designed to be misleading and deceptive.
The law firm said one of the key features of the case would be an argument against industry claims about the amount of money it returns to players of up to 85 per cent.
“This landmark court case could affect every machine, every venue, and most importantly assist every person who has ever been harmed, or could be harmed, by this deliberately addictive product,” Alliance for Gambling Reform spokesperson Tim Costello said.
The litigation comes as Crown Casino has been under investigation for alleged illegal behaviour concerning its Chinese casinos.
“Obviously we are all concerned about the welfare of the 18 Australians in China, but we also concerned about the welfare of the millions of Australians who come into contact with this product,” Costello said.
The Alliance said it was supporting litigant Shonica Guy, who endured a 14 year addiction to poker machines after first using them at the age of 17.
“Had I known how these machines truly operate, I never would have been addicted to them, because I never would have touched them,” Guy said.
“This trial will expose this industry for what it really is – a misleading and deceptive industry that has ripped off billions of dollars from millions of Australians over the years.”
Costello said: “This court action has literally been years in the making. It’s high time the Australian people found out what has really been going on.”
The Alliance for Gambling Reform is a collaboration of organisations with a shared concern about the harmful impacts of gambling and its normalisation in Australian culture.
The not-for-profit organisation is funded by donations from individuals and foundations that do not have any ties with the gambling industry.