Future surveillance will be of an even higher quality, with cameras that can zoom in on people’s faces as they stand outside the casino.
Future surveillance will be of an even higher quality, with cameras that can zoom in on people’s faces as they stand outside the casino.

Caught: Casino croupier hides $5K chip in sock

THE Star casino is introducing facial video recognition cameras as part of a $10 million security upgrade that will make it the most closely monitored precinct in NSW.

Despite the existence of more than 3000 cameras already installed at the Pyrmont casino The Daily Telegraph has obtained exclusive footage of a croupier attempting to steal a $5000 chip by hiding it in his sock.

An overhead surveillance camera shows the croupier reaching down under the table.
An overhead surveillance camera shows the croupier reaching down under the table.


Security experts who have seen the footage have branded the croupier "the Mr Bean of crooks" for his bungled attempt to steal the chip and slide it to an accomplice to cash in.

Less Ocean's 11 and more Ocean's 1.5.

The Star's surveillance chief Catherine Clark said the botched theft was caught on CCTV cameras installed above the croupier's head.

"He of all people should have known he was being watched," Ms Clark said.

The croupier attempted to slip the stolen chip to a mate in the casino to cash in.

He was caught, prosecuted, given a suspended sentence and sacked from the casino.

"We already have 360 degree coverage of the property and without touching a camera we can follow someone wherever they go," Ms Clark said.

The new facial recognition cameras, to be installed in high-risk areas over the coming months, will match peoples' faces to those held in a data bank of known undesirables.

 

The cameras are so powerful they can zoom in on to a person's face as they stand outside on the Star City Casino wharf with enough clarity for them to be identified from the details held in the casino's bank of servers.

"It will also be incorporated into our customer service where we can recognise customers and welcome them back personally, telling them their favourite drink is waiting at the bar," she said.

It is part of a $10 million security upgrade that includes new door alarms, ID scanners, infra-red night vision cameras and motion sensors to detect attempts to interfere with cameras.

"Surveillance here is a 24 hour, seven day a week operation. On a Saturday night we have 150 people working in our surveillance and security teams," Ms Clark said.

The priority is protecting customers and also protecting the money. The trick is staying one step ahead.

"I get my best ideas from watching movies like Oceans 11," said Ms Clark, who has had motion detection sensors fitted to cameras to raise the alarm the second anyone tries to tamper with them.



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