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Australian Casino's Blackjack Rules Face Scrutiny

6 August 2001

MELBOURNE, Australia – August 6, 2001 – As reported by The (Australia) Age: ``The Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority has started a review of blackjack rules at Crown Casino after complaints by gamblers who say they have been unfairly treated by the casino.

``Melbourne law firm Slater and Gordon last year lodged a complaint with the gaming authority on behalf of professional gambler Andrew Scott over Crown's use of continuous card-shuffling machines.

``Mr Scott claimed Crown unfairly discriminated against `skilled players', introducing tactics to stop them winning.

``He said he had been either banned from playing altogether or had restrictions placed on him at Crown and other casinos around Australia.

``Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos yesterday encouraged the public to respond to the authority's inquiry.

``It will investigate whether blackjack is a game of chance or skill, if the casino can treat card-counters differently from other players, and the use of automatic card shufflers and the frequency of shuffling.

``The inquiry will also investigate whether card-counting presents a risk to honest gaming.

``The rules of blackjack on the authority's website prohibit the use of a `device that is capable ... of recording, projecting or analysing an outcome of the changing probabilities or the playing strategies to be used'.

``Card-counting is a tactic used by players to keep track of the cards, thereby giving them an advantage. The frequency of shuffling prevents card-counters keeping track of the cards as effectively…"

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