The BC Supreme Court has made a ruling allowing the release of surveillance footage potentially showing an alleged scuffle at Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam which occurred in 2019. The video in question may shed light on an incident during which a female gambler was knocked off her chair and onto the ground amid a melee.
The confrontation in question was recorded by security cameras, with casino personnel having conducted their own inquiry and filed a subsequent report. Gayla Lepard, the plaintiff in the ongoing lawsuit, has been petitioning for access to the significant video evidence.
Nevertheless, due to the potentially delicate content within the footage, touching on matters of personal privacy as well as the need to safeguard ongoing intelligence operations, the BC Lottery Corp. (BCLC) has imposed strict conditionalities for the video’s usage outside of casino-related matters.
The court documents state that this kind of information is deemed extremely confidential, holding that access to the Casino Reporting System is even regulated among the casino’s own employee base. The unfiltered release of the footage could potentially put the effectiveness of surveillance techniques at risk, exposing certain blind spots and other system limitations.
Furthermore, the anonymity of security personnel could be jeopardized leading to potential personal safety risks. As per the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act regulations, the BCLC is further required to safeguard the private details of its employees.
The only party opposing the release of the footage was the defendant, Michael Vieira, who claimed the conditions stipulated by the BCLC to be overly demanding as well as unnecessary. Vieira’s legal team holds the view that these requirements present avoidable expenses while exposing Vieira to potential legal trouble for any unintended breaches of the court’s order.
The presiding Master Hughes, however, supported the imposed conditions by BCLC during the release process. Hughes concluded that the conditions aim to preserve the effectiveness of the surveillance systems, maintain security integrity, and protect individual information – all of which are pressing reasons to adopt protective measures in the release of the surveillance material.
Consequently, Hughes granted the release of the footage, in line with the conditions set by BCLC and ruled that Vieira, the sole objector, is to bear the costs.