Judgement Summary – Guy v Crown Melbourne Ltd (No2) [2018] FCA 36

On 2 February 2018 Justice Debra Mortimer of the Federal Court of Australia handed down her judgement in this matter. The Applicant was a member of the public named Shonica Guy. The Respondents were Crown Melbourne Ltd and Aristocrat Technologies Australia. The Applicant’s case centered on the popular gaming machine manufactured by Aristocrat Dolphin Treasure. Justice Mortimer’s judgement was that the Application be dismissed in its entirety.

On the issue of “losses disguised as wins” Justice Mortimer concluded…

“…information about the amount bet and the amount won is already displayed to the gambler, and allows the gambler to see easily whether her or his ‘win’ is a net win or a net loss. There is no ‘concealment’ of any of these features from the gambler.”[i]

On the issue of “celebratory feedback”[ii] Justice Mortimer concluded…

“…the sounds associated with a win on the Dolphin Treasure EGM are chosen to align with the length of time an amount won by the player takes to increment on the ‘win meter’ of the Dolphin Treasure EGM. Contrary to being unfair, or deceptive, or exploitative, a correlation such as this…is a way of allowing a gambler to measure the size of the win – whether or not it is more or less than the bet.”[iii]

On the issue of the alleged “oversized reel feature” Justice Mortimer concluded…

“There is no evidence from which it could be inferred that these perceptions would lead a gambler to turn his or her mind at all to how many ‘stopping points’ exist on each reel, and how this might affect the probabilities of a winning line occurring.”[iv]

On the issue of “dispersed symbols image” Justice Mortimer concluded…

“No basis in the evidence has been provided for an inference that such a [hypothetical] gambler would be looking at the distribution of the symbols for the purposes of understanding her or his odds of securing a winning line.”[v]

On the issue of “return to player” Justice Mortimer concluded…

“Whether by actually gambling on the EGM and experiencing outcomes, or accessing the available information, any confusion or initial impression engendered by the RTP representation would be quickly dispelled. For that reason I do not consider the Risk representation is misleading within the meaning of that term in s 18 of the ACL [Australian Consumer Law].”[vi]

On the issue of “near misses” Justice Mortimer concluded…

“…the applicant’s submissions about near misses cannot be accepted.”[vii]

On the Applicant’s case Justice Mortimer concludes…

“I have concluded that none of the applicant’s causes of action are made out.”[viii]

[i] Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited [2018] FCA 36 at [521 – 522]. Link

[ii] Celebratory feedback is defined by Justice Mortimer as “the lights, images and sounds made by the machines whenever sufficient symbols align in a manner that results in the gambler receiving a return”, see – Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited [2018] FCA 36 at [169]. Link         

[iii] Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited [2018] FCA 36 at [519]. Link

[iv] Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited [2018] FCA 36 at [352]. Link

[v] Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited [2018] FCA 36 at [355]. Link

[vi] Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited [2018] FCA 36 at [444]. Link

[vii] Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited [2018] FCA 36 at [389]. Link

[viii] Guy v Crown Melbourne Limited [2018] FCA 36 at [537]. Link