New Crown poker machine tampering claims to be investigated | Australia news
Victoria’s gambling regulator and police are investigating additional allegations of poker machine tampering at Melbourne’s Crown casino.
It comes after the independent MP Andrew Wilkie showed journalists “picks” he said were given to a former high-roller at the casino, allegedly used to let the woman play multiple machines at the same time.
The former gambling addict, who did not wish to be named but had agreed to be interviewed by the regulator, was also given more than one loyalty card so she could harvest points from various machines, Wilkie said on Tuesday.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation confirmed it had met with the Hobart-based politician and would look at the evidence he provided.
This included the picks, with the Crown casino logo on them, which were allegedly squeezed down beside various poker machine buttons to keep them playing.
“It certainly raised a couple of eyebrows this morning at the VCGLR when I showed them the picks, when I showed them the multiple loyalty cards. This is potentially very hard and indisputable evidence,” Wilkie told reporters.
“If what this woman has told me is accurate, then she has lost an enormous amount of money and she has been unwittingly breaking the law.”
Wilkie added he had written to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Aston about the allegations.
In a statement, Victoria Police confirmed it had received a letter from the politician and would assess “to determine whether a crime has occurred and whether it should be referred to (the regulator)“.
The commission in March warned Crown it may have broken the law over other machine tampering allegations made public by Mr Wilkie.
“It is actually a crime in Victoria to illegally modify pokie machines … to provide a patron with some sort of device to allow the machine to continuously play,” the MP said.
He stressed the allegations had not been proven but said if they were, the casino should not have its licence renewed.
Crown previously denied it breached the law when other whistleblower claims were tabled in parliament in 2017.
The casino has been contacted for comment about the latest allegations.