Poker machine deceptive: ex-gambler

September 12, 2017

A landmark trial in Victoria is examining whether poker machines are rigged.

Anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello says Australia's gambling industry is as powerful as the US gun lobby, as a landmark trial examines a claim of pokie-machine rigging.

Former gambling addict Shonica Guy has launched legal action against Crown Casino and poker machine maker Aristocrat, with a trial starting in the Federal Court in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleges the design of the Dolphin Treasure poker machine means players are likely to be misled or deceived about their chances of winning.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn is representing Ms Guy, and the lawsuit is also supported by the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

Mr Costello says the gambling industry in Australia is the most powerful in the nation and state governments are too reliant on its donations and revenue.

"I believe the gambling industry in Australia is equivalent to guns in America," he told reporters outside court on Tuesday, noting that 20 per cent of the world's pokie machines are Down Under.

"They are the equivalent of the National Rifle Association in Australia. That's why we have the greatest number of problem gamblers bar no country in the world, because of the power of this industry."

Ms Guy is seeking an injunction banning Crown from operating Dolphin Treasure or any machine with a similar configuration.

She also wants Aristocrat Technologies banned from supplying the machine or anything similar to Crown "or any other gaming venue within Australia".

Psychology and gambling disorder experts are expected to give evidence during the 14-day trial before Justice Debra Mortimer.

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