The Melbourne based Crown Casino has come under the scanner owing to a dangerous addiction of a poker machines addict who is going to lose everything by playing there in an obsessive manner. The casino’s role and its commitment towards adhering to responsible gaming practices are being questioned.
The person named Mark Robley is aware of his dangerous addiction to gambling and yet he is seemingly unable to stop it. His gambling problem started in his teenage when he was in Townsville. After moving to Sydney, the easy availability of casinos only fueled his addiction. To combat the addiction, he shifted to Perth with his partner as only casinos had poker machines there.
His wife made him self-exclude from the list of the casinos. However, he found out even that did not come to his rescue later. In recent times, the addiction of the 33 year old man has reached an all-time high. His marriage failed and owing to drug intake he lost his job. That eventually put him on a path of self-destruction by squandering all his cash gambling online for real money. He started staying at Melbourne’s Crown Towers and losing money.
When he lost whatever money he had, he took a personal loan. The strange thing is that the casino staff allowed him to carry on gambling in this way, even though he was self-excluded from the list. The staff actually asked him if he wanted VIP room access instead. That is when they checked his ID and found out he was self-excluded. Even then he was allowed to stay on the casino’s main floor.
Mr Robley’s case has drawn attention and it has been mentioned in Financial Counselling Australia’s submission to the Victorian Gambling Regulator. The latter will review the license of Crown Melbourne.
Crown Casino also became the center of criticism earlier when its former staff accused the management of tampering with the poker machines and ignoring drug use. John Alexander, the chairman of Crown Resorts refuted the allegations though.
But the fact is, Mr Robley has claimed he had been taking drugs while gambling on the casino’s premises. He has said that he used to take cocaine in the VIP room of that casino openly. He also used to intake ecstasy pills. The tale is actually worrisome if it contains some amount of truth. He also said that he was offered drugs by a kid there and got cash from a senior man. He in fact said that he wanted to end his life by popping in excessive ecstasy pills at Crown Melbourne. However, that attempt did not succeed as the staffs took him to hospital.
Amidst the controversy, Crown Casino has responded by saying it is investigating the claims. Pressure is on for a fully fledged federal inquiry into the blossoming casino industry in Australia. A Crown Resorts spokesperson remarked Crown is committed to responsible gaming and hence will take any issue related to it seriously.
It also pointed out its efforts for stressing on the need for responsible gambling. Crown Melbourne introduced responsible gambling initiatives by 2002 which was a world first move. It set up a Responsible Gaming Support Centre at that time. A similar facility was opened in 2010 at the Perth resort of the company which was named Responsible Gambling Information Centre.
Crown casino says on its part it is committed to offer top notch training and education to all employees from the beginning of induction on responsible gambling practices. The employees are trained to identify customers for potential signs of addictive traits. They are also trained to guide the players with such traits to find solutions.