Aristocrat Cleared in Slot Lawsuit

A judge in the Federal Court of the Australian state of Victoria has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a former gambling addict against the Crown Melbourne Casino and a subsidiary of slot supplier Aristocrat Leisure Limited that had claimed the design of popular Aristocrat machines misled players to keep them gambling.

The lawsuit, filed in 2016 by former gambling addict Shonica Guy, alleged that Aristocrat games were “deceptively designed to mislead players” through near-misses that gave players false hope to keep them playing. It also claimed that the payback-percentage statistics were misleading because they applied to all players as opposed to any one given player.

Federal Court Judge Debbie Mortimer ruled that any notions concerning the “total theoretical return to player” were “dispelled as soon as she or he actually starts gambling and the randomness of the operation of the machine and the returns become apparent.

“The impression is fleeting and may cause confusion, but it is not misleading or deceptive as the law defines those concepts,” the judge wrote. “I did not find anything in the conduct of Crown or Aristocrat that could be found as unconscionable. There are no allegations that either respondent has failed to comply with its obligations under the regulatory framework. To the contrary, the evidence positively demonstrates compliance.”

Aristocrat lauded the ruling in a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange, writing, “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 minimization initiatives and do more where we can, recognizing that these issues are complex and require collaboration across the industry.