Star Sydney was recently hit with the news that one of their patrons tested positive to Covid-19 and that was bad in itself. The casino reopened on June 1 and allowed only Star members and invited guests inside their premises and that meant no windfall from general public guests.
After a month of reduced revenue, the Star was finally allowed to accept members of the general public at the beginning of July. The casino was also getting ready to increase its capacity to up to 5,000 guests when the news of the Covid-19 patron broke.
However, now things are going from bad to worse for one of the biggest casino establishments in Australia as the player in question has refused to allow authorities and the casino to use his photo for contact tracing.
All Contacts Can Be Traced According to the Star
Casino officials say that it would be fairly easy for them to locate all the people that the Covid-19 positive individual came in contact with.
To do this, they would only need a photo of the man and then, based on the video footage the casino has from over 3,000 cameras, they would be able to identify all of the man’s contacts.
However, the casino and authorities can do nothing if the man doesn’t allow them to use his image to trace his contacts. And that’s exactly what’s happening here.
Kerry Chant, the Chief Medical Officer in New South Wales, says that the Covid-19 positive patron declined to give authorities his permission to use his photograph. She agrees to respect his decision, but is probably also aware that it leaves health officials with very limited options when it comes to tracing his movement on the night of the visit.
Privacy’s Not Really an Issue
The man visited the Star on a busy Saturday evening on July 4 and spent around three hours in the casino. That’s more than enough time for the virus to spread in a crowded venue that is packed-full on Friday and Saturday evenings in particular.
Star officials are more than willing to help, though, and stated that they would have no problem identifying every contact that the player made during his 3-hour visit. However, they also said that they need the player’s permission to use his photo in order to re-create his movement using the 3,000 cameras they have and that’s simply not happening right now.
This is in spite of the Star saying they are ready to sign a non-disclosure agreement and that they won’t reveal the player’s name or any other information that could jeopardize his privacy. In fact, people close to the casino say that they don’t even need to know his name to trace his movements and contacts on that night.
Player’s Wishes Will Be Respected
That being said, it seems like health authorities will respect the patron’s wishes and will not pursue this matter any further. Dr Chant said that the only way in which the community can continue to believe in the work her department does is to protect everyone’s privacy.
If the patron is not willing to let the Star use his photo, then authorities assure him that they won’t share that information with neither the casino nor with anyone else. All the data regarding the player is currently held at NSW Health and will probably stay there.
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