Shonica Guy (left) is being represented pro bono by Maurice Blackburn’s Jennifer Kanis (right). (AAP: Joe Castro)
Lawyers for a pokies manufacturer accused of exploiting gamblers have told a Melbourne court their machines have been scrutinised by regulatory bodies and comply with strict standards.
Aristocrat and Crown Casino are being sued by former gambling addict Shonica Guy, who alleges the Dolphin Treasure poker machine is misleading and deceiving players.
Ms Guy claims it is designed to misrepresent a player’s chance of winning and fool them into thinking they have won when they have not.
Crown has 38 Dolphin Treasure machines on the floor of its Melbourne casino.
On the third day of a Federal Court trial, Peter Jopling QC told the court Aristocrat was operating in an “intensely regulated” industry.
“We say that we’ve followed the standards to a tee and nobody has said that we haven’t,” Mr Jopling said.
“They haven’t withdrawn our licence for the machines.
“All we’ve done is comply with everything that’s been asked of us in a very regulated environment.”
The Dolphin Treasure poker machine follows regulatory standards “to a tee”, Aristocrat argues. (YouTube)
Ms Guy’s claim includes allegations Dolphin Treasure uses light, sound and images to fool gamblers into thinking they have won when instead they have lost money.
The game also has an oversized fifth reel, which has more symbols than the first four reels, reducing the chances of the symbols lining up and therefore decreasing a player’s chance of winning.
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But Mr Jopling told the court those types of features had been considered by regulators and were not a secret.
“How could it be said that we were acting in an unconscionable way when all these things have been considered … and taken into account by government and then produced legislation that we’ve complied by?” he asked.
The court was taken through information published by the Victorian Government, which details how poker machines work and a gambler’s chance of winning.
The court was shown material that indicated a player had a one in 10 million chance of winning big on a machine, making it less likely than being struck by lightning.
Mr Jopling said it proved information about the odds of winning and poker machine design was publicly and easily available.
“People like Ms Guy have made these complaints to regulatory authorities, to parliamentary inquiries, to the ACCC and the response from government has led to the regulations we have and the information that’s available,” he said.
The trial before Justice Debbie Mortimer continues.
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