TODAY Jun 10, 2010
Letter from Darius Lee
The spirit of the law
I REFER to the report "Group walked through casino without paying" (June 8). It is unhelpful to frame every single issue as a legal one, with loose talk of sanctions and penalties. The issue is first and foremost an administrative one, and only secondly, a legal one.
The problem in this case is primarily an administrative one. The lifts were not operational, and the only way out is through the casino. The problem seems to have been with the maintenance of the lifts, and the failure of the architects of the building to create an alternate exit out of the restaurant that does not pass through the casino.
The 15 diners were in a bona fide difficult situation. Surely $1,500 is an obscene and extravagant amount to be paying for lunch! In fact, they may have a legal cause of action in the tort of false imprisonment.
A reasonable solution would have been for the staff to escort the group through the casino as they made their exit; this would not fall afoul of the purpose of the statute when imposing the levy.
While the report was technically correct pertaining to the technical breach of the law, rather than simply highlighting the numerous operational difficulties that the integrated resorts are facing, it would be more constructive to at the same time highlight the economic and other benefits that the opening of the IRs have provided.