The Federal Court has today seen the start of a case by a self-confessed former pokies “addict” against manufacturer Aristocrat and Crown Casino, now amended to also challenge RTP.
Lead applicant Shonica Guy is being represented pro-bono by prominent Melbourne-based law firm Maurice Blackburn in the case, said to centre on claims of misleading conduct by the defendants.
The claim was recently amended to also include reference to the supposedly deceptive information provided to players on RTP (Return To Player), typically around 85-90 per cent, leading them to misunderstand what they will likely get back from the machine.
The SMH reports Ms Guy’s team will claim practices by the defendants that contravene Federal consumer law, tricking poker machine players to expect if they start playing with $100, they can leave however long after with $85 won back.
The probability mathematics around the RTP involves calculations beyond the abilities of most people, determined by white-coated maths geeks considerably removed from the politics and business of gaming machines. Furthermore, the strict regulations around these calculations and backend workings are highly scrutinised in all jurisdictions.
It would seem if there is a case to be had against stipulated RTP or its correct meaning communicated to players, it is not with the manufacturers of the machines, which must adhere to the given regulations.
The gaming industry’s representative body, the Gaming Technologies Association (GTA), echoed this sentiment in a statement today in relation to the news.
“Australia has one of the most stringent regulatory environments for poker machines in the world,” said GTA CEO Ross Ferrar.
“Regulators impose comprehensive conditions on every aspect of poker machine design and operation.”
To this point, the GTA has released a video (see below) to explain the inner workings of poker machines, and what RTP means as a representation of a game’s winning probability. The Association welcomes the chance to clarify on any of Guy’s claims, which it reports will be “vigorously defended” by Aristocrat.
“Poker machines are designed to be entertaining and are a legitimate recreational activity that many Australians enjoy responsibly.
“We look forward to contributing to a sensible debate about these issues and dispelling the myths underpinning this action,” said Ferrar.
This is the first of 10 videos explaining the operation of electronic gaming machines. See the full set of videos here.