Crown Resorts is in the news again, as gambling addict Ahmed Hasna is suing the casino operator, backed by James Packer, for around $3.3 million (AUD$4.5m). Stephen Maybe, an award-winning journalist and a local government counselor for Melbourne, shared the news about the lawsuit via Twitter on August 10, saying that the suit has the potential to end as a class-action case.
The Staff At Crown Resorts Was Irresponsible
Hasna has opened a $3.3 million lawsuit against Crown Resorts that he lost at the operator’s Crown Melbourne property after staff members admitted that they treated Hasna, a gambling addict and a high-roller, irresponsibly and predatory. The Sydney Morning Herald reportedly obtained a statement sent to the Federal Court in which Hasna accused the resort of breaking its own code and unconscionable conduct because he was allowed to continue gambling. Moreover, the resort incentivized him to also use free holidays and tickets, and to gamble on credit.
Hasna gave details on his gambling addiction and stated that he gambled at the property in Southbank, Melbourne quite often between the period of 1993 and 2019. The average bet in a given period was even close to $14,000. Hasna claims that he gambled 26 hours without stopping once, and he states that the casino should have been aware of the gambling problem that he has.
The Gambling Experience Noted by the Victoria Royal Commission
According to the Herald, Hasna’s gambling experience was noted by the Victoria Royal Commission as the authority was looking into the case of whether Crown Resorts is eligible to hold a casino license in June 2021.
What makes this case interesting is that Hasna reportedly advised the employees at Crown that he had financial difficulties and thought about banning himself. But, the commission even heard that the gambling facility invited him to the Mahogany Room to wager on credit even though he lost $77,305 in chips. The invitation came after Hasna told the employees that he is a gambling addict and thinks about banning himself.
The Australian Financial Review stated that he is the first individual claim that arose from the Victorian commission into Crown Resorts. What makes this case even more intriguing is the fact that over the past ten years, many investor class actions were active in the behavior that Crown displayed in the given period.
Additionally, it referred to several questions about the casino licenses in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as a royal commission in Perth.
Peter Lawrence, the head of VIP customer service at Crown Melbourne, submitted the irresponsible and predatory actions that the casino staff had towards Hasna to the Victoria commission.
Hasna’s Mother Intervened, But Crown Melbourne Didn’t Care
Hasna’s statement also includes details on how Crown Melbourne did not resort to halting his actions, even though his mother intervened at one point. According to him, his mother pleaded with the staff twice to make him stop and make sure that he doesn’t gamble his facility money. While losing, he even showed aggressive behavior towards the staff.
To make the situation worse, according to the claim, Crown Melbourne placed a permanent ban on Hasna long after these events – they banned him in December 2020, even though security placed several recommendations of doing so, due to his aggressive behavior.
The Herald indicated that a Crown spokeswoman said that the company will defend this claim, while Hasna’s lawyer has decided not to comment on the situation.