Software Issues Saw Aussie Casino In Sydney Hand Out Millions In Cash


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Software issues at Star Casino in Sydney, Australia resulted in the inadvertent distribution of millions of dollars in cash over several weeks without detection. 43 individuals to exploit the TICO machines to withdraw funds

Reports of this unexpected giveaway surfaced during an independent inquiry into the casino’s operations, which has been marred by compliance issues over the years, ultimately leading to a determination that its operators were unfit to maintain a license.

The cash disbursements occurred through the operation of “ticket in, cash out” (TICO) machines, which are utilized by players to exchange barcoded receipts for winnings from slot machines.

During testimony provided to the inquiry on Monday, casino manager Nicholas Weeks clarified that the TICO machines were designed to accept two receipts, allowing players to redeem both and receive the combined amount as intended functionality, rather than a software flaw.

But a software glitch meant that the machines would return one of those tickets and allow it to be re-used – the barcode it bore was not recognized as having been paid.

“What occurred was small additional amounts of cash were being provided to customers in circumstances when they shouldn’t have received it because of that defect,” Weeks told the inquiry.

TICO Machines

Readers may wish to take issue with Weeks’s use of the word “small” – TICO machines can pay out up to AU$2,000 ($1,290) each time a customer redeems receipts. And in the weeks the flawed TICO machines operated, AU$3.2 million ($2.05 million) was given away.

According to local media sources, word spread about the unexpected cash windfall, leading 43 individuals to exploit the TICO machines to withdraw funds they were not rightfully entitled to.

Among them was a recovering gambling addict who succumbed to the temptation of “free” money, enabling them to finance their relapse into gambling.

Those identified as habitual abusers of the TICO machines are facing legal charges, with one individual accused of ties to a criminal syndicate.

This situation echoes concerns raised in the initial inquiry into The Star two years prior, which suggested the possibility of the casino being targeted by organised crime entities.

Jess Pace
Jess Pace
Jess is a tech industry and gaming enthusiasts. She's also a freelance PR and media content creator with outreach publications in some of the big name media brands.


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