Crown Resorts Limited has announced that its Crown Melbourne operation has been fined $226,000 after 17 of their electronic gambling machines were found to have been using blanking buttons, both the operators and regulators agree the act was unintentional.
The fine from the Victorian Commission of Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) acknowledged that ‘the contravention was not deliberate and that the Gaming Machine Trial did not impact on the return to player ratio’.
The offence was incurred at the Crown Melbourne integrated resort during a three and a half week period between March and April 2017 centring on the blanking of buttons that would allow players to alter their betting amount. The 17 faulty machines out of Crown Resort’s 2,628 only had a minimum and maximum bet option.
The integrated resorts operator Crown Resorts maintains their position that the 17 machines were taking part in a ‘Gaming Machine Trial’ and as such they did not require prior approval. However, they stated that they ‘respect the Commission’s decision’ as they look to move on from the case.
This could all be very bad timing for Crown Melbourne as the VGCLR also announced that it has commenced their sixth review of the casino operator’s license. Australia’s Casino Control Act ensures that casino license operators must be investigated at least once every five years.
The regulator will now determine whether or not Crown Melbourne is ‘suitable to continue to hold the casino license’ and whether or not ‘it is in the public interest, having regard to the creation and maintenance of public confidence and trust in the credibility, integrity and stability of casino operations, for Crown Melbourne Ltd’s casino licence to continue’.