- Rachel Naomi Perri stole over $900,000 in order to play an online gambling game.
- The game she played did not even offer monetary rewards, just the gambling experience.
- Perri’s lawyer claims she has a severe gambling disorder.
HOBART, Australia - An Australian woman has been arrested after stealing more than $940,000 from her job and using it for online gambling purposes.
The woman, Rachel Naomi Perri, was charged with 25 counts of computer-related fraud and one count of regular fraud.
Perry, who worked as an account manager at the Tasmanian Veterinary Hospital through 2019, was discovered after she was let go. During her time with TVH, she made more than 400 fraudulent transactions while in a position as the only person managing accounts.
The kicker? The game she was playing did not pay out real money - it simply gave her the feeling of online gambling.
Heart Of Vegas
The game Ms. Perri was stealing to keep up her habit in was called Heart of Vegas, and it offers slot machine gameplay with no real-world rewards. It offers credits in exchange for virtual items, but nothing that can be translated back into cold hard cash.
On some level, this might raise larger questions about the way in which games are marketed, and the psychological hold that they can grab.
After all, this woman wasn’t even winning any money - she just played online slots with no reward and flushed nearly a million dollars down the drain. On another level, this is a discussion about severe gambling addiction, and the ways in which games are designed to interact with it.
Greg Barns, the lawyer for Ms. Perri, described his client as someone who was wholly addicted to the gambling experience.
"One session she spent 16 hours continuously playing on the machine,” Barns said of Perri’s poker machine habits previous to her involvement with Heart of Vegas.
He went on to detail how it wasn’t the potential for monetary reward, but simply the experience of gambling that his client was stuck on.
"You have to purchase tokens and you get virtual coins that allow you to play the game” Barns said, describing Heart of Vegas. “And, if you win, you get virtual coins as winnings, but [they] can't be redeemed for any monetary benefit."
According to Barns, Perri was diagnosed with a gambling disorder, and that disorder “was the most significant factor in her fraud activity."