New Crime Data Shows Assaults Are Up At Sydney's Star Casino

20/04/2016 11:49 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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The Star casino, operated by Echo Entertainment Group Ltd., stands illuminated at night in Sydney, Australia, on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015. Echo Entertainment is scheduled to report full-year results on Aug. 12. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The number of assaults at Sydney's Star Casino rose following the introduction of the city's controversial pub and club lockout laws, new crime statistics show.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) data, released on Wednesday, found 2 extra assaults per month occurred in Pyrmont's casino precinct since the divisive laws commenced in 2014.

Almost half of all non-domestic assaults in Pymont last year occurred in and around the notorious gambling venue, the data also showed.

BOCSAR looked at assaults in the area from January 2009 to December 2015.

The Star is located just outside the CBD lockout zone and there have been suggestions that barring new arrivals from entering licensed premises after 1.30am and mandating last drinks at 3am has pushed violence into surrounding suburbs.

The rules have been praised by NSW Premier Mike Baird, police and emergency department doctors for prompting a decline in alcohol-fuelled assaults in the city. But they have been criticised by many young people, hoteliers and live music fans.

The tough laws were enacted as a response to the one-punch deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie.

BOCSAR boss Don Weatherburn said the rise in assaults around The Star was "very small" compared to the fall in assaults in the city and Kings Cross, where they fell by 13 per month in 2014, compared with the previous year.

Wednesday's numbers also showed that 76, or 49 percent, of all non-domestic assaults in Pyrmont happened in the casino precinct. Those attacks included inside the casino, at its entrance, and at the taxi rank.

In most violent incidents, the victim was a casino patron, but in 15 percent of cases the victim was a taxi driver, BOCSAR said.

Comment has been sought from Star Casino.

Almost one third of assaults happened when an offender was being thrown out of the casino.

The data also found that 30 fewer assaults per month occurred in the Sydney Entertainment Precinct in 2014, compared with 2013.

Across NSW, only 1 "major offence" rose significantly in the 24 months to December. That offence was stealing from a retail store, which jumped 6.7 percent.

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