In what has been touted as a landmark case for the gaming industry, legal action against Crown Casino and Aristocrat has been dismissed, with the Federal Court finding that the claimant Shonica Guy was unable to substantiate her claims.
Guy led a two-prong allegation against Crown Casino and Aristocrat, targeting the Dolphin Treasure EGM manufactured by the latter. Guy alleged that both respondents had misled the public on the odds of winning when gambling on the machines, through the design of the software and the game features made available to the public. Her second allegation was that both respondents preyed on problem gamblers when the machines would post a win that was less than the amount bet, and thus that the software was deceptive.
In her ruling on Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited, Judge Mortimer dismissed Guy’s claims in her rulings, stating: “I have concluded that the applicant has not proven her allegations and… the application must be dismissed.”
Aristocrat welcomed the dismissal of the case in its entirety, noting its strict compliance with gaming regulation.
“As we have said throughout, Aristocrat is a high-integrity business that takes our regulatory obligations extremely seriously. We strive to scrupulously uphold our obligations with respect to EGM compliance.
“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. In this vein, we will consider the Court’s judgment in detail.”
The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) also welcomed the ruling, stating that it was the end to a long-winded smear campaign against the industry.
“This case has failed on all counts. The judgement clears the air after a vexatious campaign waged against the industry based on speculation and claims that have failed to withstand legal scrutiny,” said GTA CEO, Ross Ferrar.
“Throughout this process the industry has faced incredible scrutiny, which our members welcomed, and we are pleased that Justice Mortimer has found that the action brought has failed on all counts.”
The GTA also highlighted Judge Mortimer’s comments on Crown and Aristocrat’s strict compliance with regulations.
“Justice Mortimer’s ruling is further evidence that Australian poker machines are robustly regulated and can be enjoyed with confidence.
“This is an important outcome for the gaming industry and the countless Australians who will continue to enjoy poker machines with the full knowledge they are playing games that adhere to world class standards.”