2 July 2021

Pensioner slaps friend's free spin on Civic pokies and steals $600 in winnings

| Albert McKnight
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Adam Thomas Muscat

Adam Thomas Muscat, 47, leaves court after he was convicted on Thursday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

When a woman reserved her poker machine during a bonus feature, her friend used her free spins before stealing her ticket that was worth over $600.

Court documents show pensioner Adam Thomas Muscat went for a night out at the Hellenic Club in Civic on 21 October 2020.

He said hello to a friend who was playing on a poker machine and sat nearby.

At about 8:00 pm, the woman, who had winnings of about $200 on the machine, won free games and put a “Reserve” sign on the screen to stop other people from playing it before heading out to the club’s smoking area.

Muscat later walked over to the machine and played her free games.

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He took her winning ticket, now worth $617, and exchanged it for money before leaving the club.

When the woman returned, she saw her ticket was missing, and the money had been paid out to someone else.

Muscat, from O’Connor, was convicted on a charge of minor theft in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (1 July).

Magistrate James Stewart said the 47-year-old had taken a spin and done better than what people would expect.

He described Muscat’s crime as a spur of the moment decision, but said it was still a fairly serious theft.

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Magistrate Stewart found the charge proven and convicted him. But he spared him any time in jail, sentencing him to a rising of the court.

This meant he was able to walk from the courthouse, but if he committed any further dishonesty offences he could be looking at imprisonment.

He also ordered him to pay back $617 to his friend.

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