Crown Casino Attacked By Thieves; Crown Worse Than Competitor The Star - Crims, Robbers Et Al, by Greg Tingle


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Australian land based casinos continue their entertainment push, with big name celebrities and more expensive casino re-vamps in the works. The massive casino image make-over may have started in 'Sin City' Sydney and spread to Melbourne, but now Perth is centre stage, but not without the usual hassles that are known to hit casinos. Now we learn that the crime rates in Australian land based casinos is higher than most had previously thought and Crown Casino appears to have a higher crime rate than Sydney's The Star (formally known as Star City Casino). As they say, high risk, high rewards, and sometimes even the house doesn't win, which is good news for punters, but casino visitors need to make sure they don't get stolen from in what call "thieves paradise".

James Packer controlled land based casino, Crown Casino, has punters and other patrons out of pocket by roughly $400,000 in property and cash that has been reported stolen from customers in a six month period.

Both Crown Casino and competitor, Sydney's The Star (formally Star City Casino) talk up the "entertainment" aspects of their business, but new information coming to light shows more focus could well be put on the safety of visiting punters belongings to help ensure they don't get stolen from (in the traditional way - not just loosing at slots or table games)... if you follow us. It's said in casino circles that 'the house always wins', but police reports show that thieves are "winning" by stealing from punters bags, cars and just about everywhere else.

The details of such are located in police documents released under Freedom of Information laws.

The documents show officers were called to Crown Casino 167 times in the first six months of 2011. Reports of stolen property and thefts from motor vehicles make up the bulk of alleged offences at the complex.

We also learn thanks to a Rupert Murdoch's News Limited report that a Logie award-winning TV star was caught in possession of drugs.

The shock discovery was made after the actor became embroiled in a row with bouncers and police were called. He was let off the hook ie: not charged it's believed that he just got a caution.

The Victoria Police incident reports, pulled from its LEAP database, cover some 523 pages of crime files.

Crown spokesman Gary O'Neil said the number of incidents was small but emphasised each was treated seriously.

"Crown aims to provide the safest and most secure environment possible for our customers and staff," he said.

"However, dealing with those numbers and operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there will inevitably be those types of incidents.

"Crown's view is that its security and surveillance teams do an outstanding job given the size of the task."

There were 54 thefts and 4 attempted thefts from motor vehicles from January 1 to July 1 this year - with 44 still in the "unsolved" category.

In one case, almost $8500 of property was allegedly stolen within an hour of a woman parking her car at Crown.

"The victim returned to her vehicle to locate a smashed rear window on the driver's side," a statement on the June 16 incident reads.

Another punter had his wallet containing $6500 nicked from the high-rolling exclusive Mahogany Room.

"The victim has placed his wallet beside him whilst gaming," the police report states.

"When the victim went to pick up the wallet he found that it had been taken."

Despite extensive CCTV footage of the 58 incidents of theft or stolen property reported, 47 remained "unsolved".

Police have also advised there may be many more incidents which have not been disclosed due to the way in which officers file information.

"The limitations of the system and manner in which information, particularly information related to locations, is captured on the LEAP database restricts the manner in which information can be extracted," it said.

Police also confirmed two Safe Street Patrol teams solely patrol the Crown complex every Friday and Saturday night in an attempt to prevent public order offences and any offences they deal with would not be classified as call-outs as they are already on site.

"We have a close working relationship with Crown Casino," a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

Mr O'Neil said Crown Casino had the most comprehensive security and surveillance system of any entertainment complex in Australia.

"The operating procedures and standards, plus the resources Crown commits, are constantly being reviewed and upgraded to maintain world's best practice," he said.


$9000 cash theft

A victim took $18,000 of business takings to Crown in a blue Guess handbag but spent $9000 in an hour on tables in the main gaming room. She then placed her bag, containing the remaining $9000, on a chair but when she went to pick it up, it had been stolen.


Theft of a $260,000 Porsche

The sale of a Porsche Coupe Cabriolet turned into a police investigation when the buyer gave a $50 deposit and drove away. The balance was not paid within the agreed five days. After a five-month search the vehicle was located but the victim has indicated he does not want to press charges.


A cinema goer with a foot fetish

"During the course of the movie the victim put her feet up in between the two seats in front of her," the report reads. "Every time she did this, the male in front tickled and rubbed her feet. This occurred three times," it adds. The suspect was apprehended outside the Crown complex and arrested for unlawful assault.

Echo Entertainment's The Star casino in 'Sin City' Sydney is not off the hook either, but its understood their crime rate for the past 6 months is less than that of Melbourne's Crown. Jupiter's Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast last year was named by a number of gaming journals to be one of the most dangerous land based casinos in the world. Jupiter's did not comment on the unflattering title of "most dangerous".

Most Australian land based casinos have enjoyed upgraded security measures over the past 12 months but its understood that criminals and unethical punters will always look for ways to beat the system, and casinos have long been known as a hangout for thief's and other people of questionable nature.

If you visit a casino you are taking a gamble - a bigger one that you first bargained for. Little wonder for the rise in popularity of online casino games like the ones offered by Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment which now even has competitions where online poker players can win qualifiers to see them seated at Crown Casino 'Aussie Millions Poker Tournament' this coming January. Good luck.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited


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Crown Casino Chip Thief - 27th November 2011...

A large amount of casino chips have been pinched from Melbourne's Crown Casino in an early-Sunday morning heist.

The robber, believed to be aged about 20, executed his daring deed in the gaming area near the Clarendon St exit about 1.40am on Friday, November 4.

Murdoch owned Herald Sun was notified that opportunistic chip thefts are on the rise as pit bosses struggle to cope with increasing workloads. Word has got around to Australia's underground, as well as to news media who report on these matters.

A Crown leak advised since Crown's opening in 1994 the number of dealers a supervisor had to monitor had climbed from 4 to 24.

"One pit boss looks after 48 tables. It's absolutely bananas," he said.

The leak claimed a lack of supervision was helping lead to less than honest behaviour among some dealers, chip thefts and a massive increase in threats directed at dealers.

"Crown is running amok and the Government is allowing them to do it," he said.

But Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill denied chip thefts were increasing and said staff were fully supported by a world class security system.

"Chip thefts unfortunately occur from time to time. However, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the suggestion that there has recently been an increase in the number of these incidents," he said.

"Staff on the Crown gaming floor are fully supported by the most comprehensive security and surveillance systems and standards of any casino in Australia."

O'Neill said staffing arrangements were fully approved by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation.

Police have described this month's thief as being of African appearance with short hair and a thin build.

He was wearing a jumper and baggy pants.

It is understood a second man, also described as African in appearance, fled the scene of the crime with the offender.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Stay tuned for more in the epic friendly war between Packer's Crown Entertainment and Echo Entertainment. Who are you tipping, and are you buying shares to prove your loyalty?

*the writer owns shares in Crown Limited


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