Sunday, April 11, 2010

Australia's Star City Casino To Beef Up Surveillance Tech In Wake of Cheating Blitz!

Australia has been a great cheat haven for professional casino and poker teams for a long time now, at least since the days when I was beating their pants off in the '90s. Now officials of the Star City Casino in Sydney have announced that they're going to beef up their surveillance systems in an attempt to catch...or at least thwart some of the cheating.

According to its plan, Star City Casino will increase its total number of video cameras by 50 per cent within the next 18 months. They say they are particularly concerned with cheating going on at table games, especially blackjack and baccarat, where dealer-insider false-shuffle scams have hit hard the past 20 years. As of now, Star City has some 1200 cameras that cover its gaming space, which includes a special high rollers salon. Currently, surveillance inspectors have been catching lots of chip and slot-credit snatchers, and they say they have caught twice as many cheats in the past 12 months than in the previous 12 months, but obviously they know they are getting beat twice as much as well.

According to Star City's numbers, 446 cases of thefts and casino cheating have been reported since Jan. 1, 2009, about 30 per month. Previous figures released by the New South Wales Casino Control Authority reported 177 incidents of theft, fraud and cheating during a twelve-month span from June 2008 to June 2009.

"We don't believe there's been a rise in crime. There has been an increase in the number of criminals apprehended," a Star City Casino spokesman told the press. Those cheats have included using stolen and counterfeit casino chips as well as marked cards.

My take: Well, I think that Star City spokesman left a lot out of his statement. I personally know that the casino, as well as others Down Under, have been hit repeatedly by roulette pastposting teams, blackjack card counters and have also been victimized by Asian baccarat cheats bribing dealers as the Tran Organization did in the US and Canada. Its increased surveillance cameras will only help a little. As I have always said, well-trained personnel in the area of anti-cheating does a lot more for casino security than whatever high-tech equipment they can bring in.