A Yacht Club experienced cash losses in its gaming which led Management to conduct an internal investigation. As a result of initial inquiries, Barringtons determined the deficiencies were the result of staff theft and although a number of integrity tests were conducted, the perpetrator/s could not be immediately established.
Management instructed Barringtons to conduct a covert operation involving the use of electronic video surveillance. An authority under the Workplace Surveillance Act was applied for and granted from the Local Court. A recording device and covert surveillance camera were installed in the main bar area of the Club to provide coverage of the coin dispensing machine and its immediate surrounds.
The recording device was kept in situ for a period of approximately two (2) weeks and during that period, a particular staff member was observed on nine (9) occasions to dispense one hundred dollars ($100.00) in one dollar ($1.00) coins into a plastic container. In some instances, the staff members was seen to refill poker machines with those coins although on other occasions, the coin was not seen to be used for any operational purpose. At the times when the staff member refilled the poker machines, he had completed reconciliatory documentation declaring the refills were for in fact two hundred dollars. ($200.00)
Additionally, the same staff member was seen on a large number of occasions to be placing bets on Keno although at no time was he observed to place monies into the Keno float as payment. As distinct to not paying for his bets on Keno, the staff member was also committing offences under the Keno Act of 1996 by wagering on Keno whilst engaged in duties as a Keno operator. Due to these actions, the Club itself was also liable to breaches.
The staff member was suspended on full pay to return to the Club on a particular day and time where they were offered an opportunity of providing the Club with explanations for their actions. The staff member admitted stealing from the Club and not paying for bets placed on Keno. The staff member also admitted to fraudulently misappropriating approximately nine thousand dollars ($9000.00) without the knowledge or permission of the Club.
The staff member was subsequently terminated and agreed to repay the stolen monies and costs incurred by this investigation, a total amount of approximately sixteen thousand dollars ($16,000.00).
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Blayne Webb, Director, Barringtons