Crown caught tampering with pokies and fined $300k

Crown caught tampering with pokies and fined $300k

Notorious gambling giants Crown (ASX: CWN) have been fined $300,000 by Victoria's gambling regulator after being caught tampering with poker machines.

The casino was found to have been hiding certain buttons on 17 gaming machines over a three-and-a-half week period during March and April 2017 so only minimum and maximum betting options were available to punters.

Because hiding the buttons "varied" the pokies the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation said Crown needed the Commission's approval before altering the machines.

"Crown's failure to obtain approval means it has contravened the Gambling Regulation Act 2003," says the Commission.

"This is the largest fine the commission has issued to Crown and reflects the seriousness with which it considers the matter."

The casino operator, in an ASX statement, said the contravention of the Act was not deliberate and that the gaming machine trial did not impact 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," says Crown.

The commission has also asked Crown to provide an update compliance framework within six months and explain how it will prevent a similar matter happening again.

Crown has advised the Commission that it will be implementing a more robust compliance program and the Commission has requested to remain updated on this.

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