ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Women, beware: Those "eye in the sky" surveillance cameras used by casinos don't just look for card cheats and crooked dealers. Sometimes, they look for low-cut blouses.
New Jersey casino regulators fined Caesars Atlantic City Hotel Casino (search) $80,000 Wednesday for using surveillance cameras to spy on female employees and customers sitting at casino tables or riding escalators.
On three occasions in 2000 and 2001, Caesars surveillance camera operators "recorded footage of selected parts of the anatomy of several females," in violation of statutes governing the use of clandestine surveillance by casinos, authorities said.
Tipped off by a Caesars surveillance supervisor, investigators with the state Division of Gaming Enforcement obtained videotapes from the hidden cameras.
One tape from 2000 contained 16 minutes of footage focusing on the anatomy of several females, according to Deputy Attorney General Cyrus Pitre. Another tape made the same night, from a different camera, showed 80 minutes' worth of footage focusing on women's anatomy, he said.
Casino employees Paul Reyes and Peter Pallitto were fired as a result of the incidents. They still may face sanctions from the state Casino Control Commission (search), which will take up complaints against them next month.
The incidents were also the focus of complaints to the state Division on Civil Rights (search) by two women fired from Caesars' surveillance department, allegedly for complaining about the use of the cameras to ogle women in "revealing clothing."
Caesars officials did not return a telephone call seeking comment Wednesday.
When the incidents came to light, casino officials said Caesars had "zero tolerance" for sexual harassment and that its employees were cooperating fully with the investigation.