The NSW Government should investigate the operation of pokies at Sydney’s Star Casino and other venues in NSW after the tabling of explosive evidence in Federal Parliament of whistleblowers alleging Melbourne’s Crown Casino deliberately tampered with poker machines.
Former Crown staff have alleged the Melbourne casino forced staff to remove betting options from pokies and to “shave down” buttons on gaming machines to allow illegal continuous play on the poker machines and manipulated return rates to players.
Greens Gambling Harm Spokesperson Justin Field has called on the NSW Government to come clean about any allegations or investigations into similar behaviour in NSW and ensure compliance activities are able to identify and take action to stop this kind of behaviour.
“The serious allegations made today of illegal operations in the pokies industry in Victoria raises questions about all poker machine operations in NSW and whether similar tampering is occurring here, including in our big gambling clubs and hotels,” he said.
“People have the right to play the pokies but they also have the right to expect protection against the worst excesses of the industry and to know the Government will take action if casino, clubs or hotels have illegally tampered with machines.
“The odds are already stacked in the favour of pokies against the people and communities who play them. Poker machines are addictive and designed with one intention — transferring money from people’s pockets into the profits of owners.
“Pokies harm people and the community, it destroys relationships and families and tears at the social fabric.
“The pokies industry is extremely powerful but we can’t let this lobby group call the shots when it comes to protecting communities from this damaging trade,” he said.