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Crown Casino Reiterates its Closing Arguments on Harry Kakavas Case

Crown Casino has stated its closing arguments on August 18th, 2009 in a trial against millionaire property developer Harry Kakavas, who claims that he was intentionally lured to the facility by Crown officials wishing to take advantage of his gaming addiction. Banned from Crown Casino for may years, he was seen by former Crown Casino owner Kerry Packer gambling millions of dollars in Las Vegas casinos in 2004.

The court has heard that Kerry Packer contacted Crown Casino executive John Williams to ask why Kakavas was not playing at Crown Casino and that John Williams worked to have Kakavas readmitted at the gaming facility. Kakavas turned over almost $1.5 billion between June 2005 and August 2006 and is suing Crown Casino for $20 million in losses and about $15 million in damages.

Neil Young, the QC for Crown Casino, said before the court that most Australian gambled in some form and each individual decide how much to spend depending on their appetite for risk and the corresponding reward. Young said that Kakavas was no different. He said that the chances in any form of gaming are always against the player. Young added that in the case of the game of baccarat, the odds are close to even cash.

Kakavas wagered up to $300,000 per hand at baccarat, which can only take seconds to play. Young said that there was no plan to lure Kakavas back to Crown Casino and in 2004, the casino facility did not believe he had a gaming problem. Kakavas was banned from the casino in 1998 for behavioral reasons but had previously been self excluded as a diagnosed pathological gamers although Young argued that the earlier self-imposed exclusion was designed to mitigate a jail term for fraud.

Young stated Kakavas wanted to return to Crown Casino and thoroughly bargained to get the best possible benefits especially in the baccarat table. Relying on a NSW case against a RSL club, Young said that nothing prevented a player from walking away and that to compensate a gamer for their lossess would be counterproductive to making individuals responsible for their own decisions and actions. He also said that that Kakavas could have sought help with his problem anytime he want.


21 September 2009
News Submitted by:
Jessica Kellerman

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