The Crown Casino loyalty cards have been the focus of a recent pokies tampering scandal. Crown Resorts is embroiled in a poker machine tampering controversy in which they have been accused of giving its loyal customers special “swipe cards”. These “swipe cards” are the Crown Casino loyalty cards which bypass the minimum spin rate on pokies machines. Anti-gambling activists are pressuring the Victorian government to intervene.
Victorian Laws Limiting Pokies Bets
The Victorian Government’s gambling laws require casino operators to have a minimum spin rate of 2.14 seconds. In 2015, the Victorian Government introduced a system known as YourPlay in an effort to curb problem gambling. The YourPlay system is used to set limits on the amount of time and money spent betting on pokies. These limits are set up by players. However, this limit does not lock out gamblers when they have reached and are attempting to exceed it. Crown Casino loyalty cards give players access to an exemption play function which can be accessed by gamblers on their loyalty program. It is alleged that the Victorian Government granted the casino the special exemption.
How the Swipe Cards Work
The Crown Casino loyalty cards are being used to skirt the legal minimum spin rate. Video footage was recently leaked to the media showing how the Crown Casino loyalty cards were being used. The pokie machines were played initially at the normal one spin every 2.14seconds. The minute the loyalty card was swiped, the spin speed dramatically increased to more than twice per second!
Crown Casino argues that despite the ability to void the spin rate, their loyalty cards require punters to set a limit on their spend and play time. However, the former casino employee, disclosed that the Crown Casino loyalty cards allowed ridiculously high limits to be placed. This defeats the whole purpose and intention of the gambling spend limit.
What the Loyalty Swipe Card Scandal Spells for Victoria’s Gambling Industry
This is not Crown Casino’s first brush with a pokie scandal. Earlier this year, they were accused of adjusting the speed of their pokies machines beyond the legal spin rate. They were subsequently struck with an AU$300 000 fine by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR). The fine was criticised as being too lenient as the fine was “loose change” for Crown Casino. The revelation of the swipe card video has given the anti-gambling activists and political opposition, ammunition against the Labor government. The opposition is mounting the pressure on the Crown Casino exemption to be removed.