Crown Melbourne, part of Crown Resorts, has been fined AU$300,000 by Australia’s Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation for poker machine tampering.
The fine follows an investigation into the use of blanking buttons on 17 of its 2,628 machines for a three-week period in March and April, 2017.
In a statement, the state’s gambling commission said the fine, specifically “for not seeking approval to hide certain buttons”, is the largest it has issued to the company.
“Crown’s failure to obtain approval means it has contravened the Gambling Regulation Act 2003,” read the statement. “This is the largest fine the commission has issued to Crown and reflects the seriousness with which it considers the matter.”
In response, Crown Resorts said the trial had not impacted on the return-to-player ratio. “While Crown Melbourne’s position throughout this process was that the gaming machine trial did not require the prior approval of the commission, Crown Melbourne respects the commission’s decision, which brings this process to a close.”