|IS THE REGULATOR PART OF THE PROBLEM?|
|Independent MP Andrew Wilkie is revealing allegations of improperly modified poker machines operating in Tasmania. This follows revelations uncovered by Mr Wilkie of buttons being “blanked” at Crown Casino, for which Crown were fined $300,000.
Attached is Mr Wilkie’s correspondence with the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission. A video of an interview with a whistleblower who describes how the machine used to have buttons, as well as footage of the machine, is available at http://andrewwilkie.org/tasmanian-poker-machine-video/
“I was horrified to learn about a poker machine operating in a Tasmanian venue which has been modified to remove certain betting options,” Mr Wilkie said. “I was even more horrified to learn that, according to the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission in the Mercury this morning, there’s a number of machines with blanked buttons operating in the State.”
“The Commission claims that these blanked buttons do not conceal available bets. But that’s nonsense because the ReelPower-style machine in question is designed to have intermediate betting options.”
Mr Wilkie said that this means that the machine has either not been approved, or shouldn’t have been approved in the first place.
“If the Commission has approved this machine, then it beggars belief because the only options that are left are the very low-value bet, which won’t be used by many people and in particular gambling addicts, and the maximum bet which dramatically increases the gambling rate and money lost.
“It’s simply unbelievable that any regulator would remove functionality from a machine that provides some additional protections for players.
“Poker machines are dangerous enough when operated lawfully, but they become even worse when buttons are blanked out to coerce players to bet more and lose more.”
Authorised by Andrew Wilkie MP 188 Collins St Hobart