Crown Melbourne Casino Faces Lawsuit from Former Player
The Crown Casino in Melbourne is facing a lawsuit after a player alleged, he was enticed to play after the casino found out about his roulette addiction.
In general, a casino is supposed to cut off players from gambling if they appear to have a problem, such as spending too much money or acting irrationally. Casino operators are supposed to adhere to strict protocols and provide responsible gambling assistance when players need help, be it online or in person. In some instances, operators have been accused of enticing players with special deals and offers, even though they knew the gambler had an issue from the very start. That is exactly what one player is accusing Crown Resorts of.
Ahmed Hasna has filed a lawsuit against Crown Resorts regarding its Crown Melbourne casino. In court documents, Hasna alleges that he had a severe gambling problem and would visit the casino three to four times a week. He did this every week from 1993 to 2019.
Hasna gambled so much that he built up a large amount of losses. He lost so much money that his friends tried to get the casino employees to ban him from the property. His mother, reportedly when to the casino two times to try and talk the staff members into preventing her son from gambling away all of his money.
The lawsuit says the casino employees did not listen to the mother’s plea and Hasna was allowed to continue gambling. By December 2020, he was eventually banned. Attorneys for the gambler say that evidence of a gambling problem was heavily prevalent. The player was reportedly invited to the VIP Mahongany Room after he gambled AU$100,000 in chips that he purchased with a check that did not clear.
One incident of reckless gambling involves free Phil Collins tickets. Hasna was invited to the casino to claim the free tickets and he ended up losing AU$30,000 playing roulette when he stopped at the property to get the tickets.
In total, the lawsuit is seeking AU$4,593,000, which equals just over $3.3 million in damages.
Crown Resorts Continues to Fall Short
The case regarding Hasna against Crown Resorts is not only affecting the company in general, but it was brought up during the suitability hearing in Victoria. Crown is currently under investigation as to if the company should be allowed to maintain licensing in the state.
Already, inadequacies have come to light involving the Crown and money laundering as well as links to organized crime groups. So far, other similar inquiries have not gone the way of the casino operator. In New South Wales, officials found that the Crown was not qualified to offer casino gaming in Sydney, and they never even got to open a new casino because of the findings.
Now, this case has been pointed out as yet another failing of the company. Before the Victoria inquiry, the head of VIP customer service of the company, Peter Lawrence, stated that more should have been done for Hasna.
Lawrence called the actions of the operator irresponsible. He was asked if the actions were predatory and he said it was a strong word but, possibly yes.
Even though the case shows the failings of the casino, it is not likely that Hasna will win. In the past, the High Court of Australia has ruled against such cases claiming that there is no general duty for a casino to protect a gambler from themselves.
It will be interesting to see if the case plays a role in the casino operator losing out on its Melbourne license or if they will be able to provide enough evidence to show a turnaround that they will be able to maintain operations.