Australian gaming giant Aristocrat Leisure Ltd has placed a halt on trading in the ordinary shares of the company from today through to next Tuesday 6 February 2018 in anticipation of Australia’s Federal Court handing down its findings in a landmark court case involving Crown Resorts and a former gambling addict.
The case revolves around Aristocrat slot machine title “Dolphin Treasure” which Shonica Guy claims is designed to mislead players by failing to accurately disclose the odds and disguising losses as wins. Ms Guy is looking to have “Dolphin Treasure” banned.
The legal case was brought against Melbourne’s Crown Casino in September 2017, with Aristocrat Leisure’s Australian entity, Aristocrat Technologies Australia, the second respondent to the proceeding.
In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday morning, Aristocrat said that, “A trading halt is necessary to prevent a disorderly or uninformed market in Aristocrat shares while the Court delivers its decision. A trading halt will enable Aristocrat to consider the Court’s decision and provide any notification to the market that might be necessary.”
Speaking to media in September, Ms Guy said she wasn’t seeking compensation but that she wanted to “make sure what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else. What I want this case to show is that the industry knows their machines are addictive and design these machines to get us hooked. I’m looking forward to having my day in court to fight for honesty and fairness in the pokies industry.”
Neil Young, QC for Crown, focused part of his defense on the fact that both Crown and the “Dolphin Treasure” slot machine software and display is regulated by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.
Ross Ferrar, CEO of Gaming Technologies Association – a local body representing gaming machine manufacturers – added at the time that Aristocrat adhered to all Australian standards.
“These standards include requirements that gaming machines not give a player a false expectation of odds, they must accurately display the result of a game outcome and not be misleading, illusory or deceptive,” he said.
“Every aspect of poker machines operation is governed by stringent legislation, regulations and standards to ensure integrity and fairness and that strict oversight is maintained through the life of the machine.”