A woman stole $680,000 and spent it on a gambling game that doesn't pay out real money

midian182

Posts: 7,435   +67
Staff member
WTF?! One would imagine that if someone stole almost a quarter of a million dollars to spend on a gambling game, some of that money would be recouped in winnings. Unfortunately for a woman in Australia, the slot machine simulator she was playing doesn't pay out in actual cash, just more of the virtual tokens that she continued to buy.

ABC reports that Tasmania, Australia, resident Rachel Naomi Perri pleaded guilty to 25 charges of computer-related fraud and one count of fraud in court this week. Prosecutor say she made 475 fraudulent transactions while working at the Tasmanian Veterinary Hospital between 2016 and 2019, stealing a total of AUD $940,221 (USD $680,000).

Perri used the stolen money to fund her addiction to mobile slot machine simulator Heart of Vegas Slots. The game, which has over 10 million downloads and a user rating of 4.1, recreates the Las Vegas slot machine experience, giving players the option of buying virtual coins to spend on the machines. However, these tokens cannot be turned back into real money; you just keep spending any winnings on the games.

Heart of Vegas Slots' T&C section explains that players "may be required to pay a fee to obtain virtual items" but "regardless of the terminology used, virtual items may never be redeemed for 'real world' money."

"The games are intended for an adult audience. The games do not offer 'real money gambling' or an opportunity to win real money or prizes," reads the description. "Practice or success at social casino gaming does not imply future success at "real money gambling."

The veterinary practice only realized what Perri had done after she was made redundant in 2019 and the vet found anomalies in the banking statements. Police also discovered that Perri had fraudulently taken out a $30,000 credit card in her husband's name in 2015 without his knowledge and added $24,000 in debt to the card via Heart of Vegas spending. She had also "taken out multiple credit cards and personal loans" to feed her habit.

Perri, who has a long history of gambling, was diagnosed as having a severe gambling disorder.

Perri confessed to her actions immediately when confronted by police, admitting she had been waiting for "a knock on the door."

Back in 2018, US congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted over the misuse of $250,000+ of campaign funds on personal expenses, including $1,500 on Steam games. Hunter claimed his teenage son was responsible for one charge, while the others were from his efforts to block access to the platform. He was sentenced to 11 months in prison but never spent any time behind bars after being pardoned by Donald Trump last December.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,477   +7,312
A woman stole $680,000 vs. One would imagine that if someone stole almost a quarter of a million dollars to spend on a gambling game, some of that money would be recouped in winnings.

Obviously our writer is not a math wizard but not every else is either .....
 

brucek

Posts: 976   +1,450
I'm not clear if the woman misunderstood and thought it was real money gambling; or if the nature of her addiction was such that she understood but just didn't care. (although that latter would seem kind of like a heroin addict being OK with a placebo version, meaning, not darn likely.)

I would never have made or invested in this app because it sounds like such a dumb idea to me. Shows how much I know. (I said the same thing once about a new communications platform with a 143 character limit.)

 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,141   +6,438
There should be a regulation regulating how much these developers can consume from players. No game is worth over $10K much less $680K. Personally I'd cut them off at $1K, which in my opinion is still ten times more than they should be consuming.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 349   +169
There should be a regulation regulating how much these developers can consume from players. No game is worth over $10K much less $680K. Personally I'd cut them off at $1K, which in my opinion is still ten times more than they should be consuming.

Yep it's **** like this that gets me to basically write off any free 2 play game on principle alone. I'm struggling to accept Halo infinite multiplayer and it's not even remotely close systems right now just because I'm such a Halo fan.

These games that want to make the game free but sell you bits and pieces should always have some kind of hard limit in place that if you spend that you've essentially "bought the game" and all content whether just automatically unlocked or unlocked through progression should be made to have no real world cost..

This is like those damn video stores charging late fees for a movie that end up double tripe or even 10x the cost of the movie itself.

When Redbox came around they did it right you pay per day for whatever you take and you can keep it as long as you want with that charge happening per day up to the point that you've reached the cost of the movie and at which point they basically just sell it to you and you never have to return it.

If these games really want to prove that their free 2 play model is about making the game accessible to more not ripping ***** whales off then they need to implement something like a cap to spending.

Even if in reality they are getting WAY more than a typical release of similar scope would have charged back before free 2 play they shouldn't be able to milk you infinitely.

Your limit or $1000 while I think is still way too high is a realistic number that lets them still make almost all the same money they currently make off fools willing to part with their money so easily and yet not abuse people who generally might have a sickness they can't help and you're exploiting (like this woman).

She's an adult and responsible for her own choices I do see that but as someone who struggled for a decade with alcohol abuse I know how hard it can be when you're knee deep in your addiction.

Me I've been personally sober for years and never plan to go back but if my addiction was in my face 24/7 and so easy to abuse like hers I don't know if I would even be alive today.

I don't blame bars and I know they can't completely control my actions but even at the bar when I'm ready to hand them over your life savings for just one more they almost always do the right thing and cut you off.

These *** hats at these free 2 "get addicted"... I mean "play" games need to do the same.
 

dangh

Posts: 360   +542
Idi0ts everywhere.
No, not really. Those games are made in the way exploiting any possible chance for auction and target vulnerable people. It's like giving shots of vodka of smth everyday to all in neighborhood - you always will turn some people into alcoholics. Or drug addicts. It is very smart psychology which allow to push the weak point