Poker machine supplier Aristocrat Leisure and casinos operator Crown Resorts have won a Federal Court case in which a former gambling addict alleged that the Dolphin Treasure poker machine breached consumer laws.
Former gambling addict Shonica Guy launched the lawsuit against Melbourne’s Crown casino, which operates 38 of the machines, and Aristocrat, which developed the machine.
The 2017 lawsuit alleged that the Dolphin Treasure poker machine duped players about their chances of winning and was therefore deceptive and misleading, contrary to Australian consumer law.
Justice Debbie Mortimer ruled on Friday that the case failed to show that Crown or Aristocrat had breached consumer laws.
“I did not find anything in the conduct of Crown or Aristocrat that could be found as unconscionable,” Justice Mortimer said.
Justice Mortimer said there was no specific evidence to prove the claim against Crown and Aristocrat, and that it was the court’s purpose to rule on the law and not on the ethics of poker machine gambling.
Crown had argued that the Dolphin Treasure machines had been tested and approved by Victoria’s regulator of gambling.
Aristocrat welcomed the Federal Court judgement, saying that it has high integrity and takes its regulatory obligations extremely seriously.
“We will continue to support balanced and fact-based harm minimisation initiatives, and do more where we can, recognising that these issues are complex and require collaboration across industry, regulators and the community,” Aristocrat said in a statement.
Shares in Aristocrat were placed in a trading halt on Friday morning ahead of the Federal Court’s decision and rose 20 cents, or 0.82 per cent, to $24.65 soon after they resumed trading at 1400 AEDT.
Shares in Crown Resorts were 17 cents, or 1.25 per cent, higher at $13.47 at 1402 AEDT.
The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA), which represents gaming machine suppliers, said the Federal Court ruling should end “the campaign of myth and misinformation that has been waged against the industry”.
GTA chief executive Ross Ferrar pointed to the court’s comments in relation to the compliance by Aristocrat and Crown Resorts to “a detailed and comprehensive regulatory regime”.