Woman Steals $940,221 To Spend On Gambling Game That Never Paid Out

Woman Steals $940,221 To Spend On Gambling Game That Never Paid Out
Screenshot: Heart of Vegas

A woman has plead guilty to fraud charges after using her position as the accounts manager at a veterinary hospital to steal around A$940,221, which she spent entirely on a mobile gambling game that did not and could not ever pay out with real cash.

As the ABC reports Rachel Naomi Perri, from Tasmania, Australia, appeared in court on Monday facing “25 counts of computer-related fraud and one count of fraud”, over allegations she made 475 “fraudulent transactions” during the three years she was employed at the hospital (2016-2019), stealing a total of AUD$940,221.

Those transactions were made to support her addiction to the gambling game Heart of Vegas, which incredibly was not an online gambling portal paying out real cash, but a video game that simulated real slot machines, and paid out its winnings in virtual, in-game currency. Meaning that no matter how much money Perri spent and how much she won, she would never see a cent of actual cash she could withdraw from the game.

Here are Heart of Vegas’ terms, listed on the game’s website and store pages:

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. Practice or success at social casino gaming does not imply future success at “real money gambling”.

Perri, who has been diagnosed with a “severe gambling disorder”, had also “fraudulently taken out a $US30,000 (A$41,730) credit card in her husband’s name without his knowledge”, tallying an additional $US24,000 (A$33,384) of Heart of Vegas debt on the card. The court was told she had also “taken out multiple credit cards and personal loans” to further deepen her losses. She plead guilty to her charges almost instantly, saying she had been “waiting for a knock on the door”.

For three years, Perri had successfully gotten away with the transactions; it was only when she was made redundant in 2019 that the vet discovered “anomalies” with their banking statements, in which she had ciphered money away into “a variety of bank accounts, credit cards and personal loans in her name.” She’ll be sentenced next month.

Comments

  • This is walking the line of “tragic” and “stupid” so finely I don’t know if it’s okay to mock her. I will say that her “severe gambling problem” reminds me of Ted Striker’s “drinking problem” in Airplane!.

    • All it emphasises is that you don’t need the prospect of real-world rewards to get addicted to gambling. The risk/reward one more spin flashing lights and movement endorphin rush feedback loop is more than enough to hook someone who is inexperienced or vulnerable.

      Cases like this really should put a stake through the heart of arguments that in-game only “surprise mechanics” aren’t anything at all like gambling on the spurious reasoning that real cash prizes aren’t involved.

      • There is also the insidious design behind these “no payout” gambling games, where they obfuscate the fact is in the Terms or EULA and most often is not displayed anywhere in the game. Players assume that since they are putting real money in, and the game displays real money amounts, and that it is for all intent and purposes a gambling game… that one day when they hit it big, they can just open their account and transfer the money out.

  • All payouts are put directly into the “Save the stranded Nigerian astronaut fund”.
    Thanks to Ms Perry’s outstanding contributions we can now afford to send our valiant yet still stranded Commander 3 muesli bars, a four pack of mount Franklin water and a (small) Domino’s pizza of his choosing! * Value range only. Please note that we must take a “small percentage” of the “donations” to keep the lights on here …and stuff. Lots of lights…and stuff. If only there were more kindhearted heroes such as Ms Perry, who are clearly satisfied with our “Game-ification” of this vital charity!

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