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New Australian Covid-19 restrictions force land-based casinos to close

| By Robert Fletcher
New novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions across a number of Australian states will force land-based casinos to temporarily limit access to customers, with some having to close their doors for at least two weeks.

Governments in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia tightened measures due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.

As such, land-based casino operators in the states will have to reduce or cease their gaming operations until such restrictions are lifted.

In New South Wales, an extended stay-at-home order issued on 26 June will mean Crown Resorts’ Crown Sydney casino will remain closed until at least 9 July. This will also apply to the site’s food and beverage and conferencing facilities.  

Star Entertainment’s Star Sydney will also be closed until 9 July, though the on-site hotel will continue to operate on a limited basis.

The Western Australia government yesterday (27 June) also imposed new restrictions across the Perth and Peel regions, whereby casino operators in the state will have to suspend all gaming activities for at least three days.

Crown Perth’s casino will close, but the on-site hotel and food and beverage facilities will continue to operate during the period.

Queensland’s government also announced new restrictions, whereby access to casinos will be limited with effect from 29 June.

As such, Star’s Queensland properties will be permitted to continue operating, but with a limited capacity of one person per four square metres indoors. Customers will have to wear masks while on site and remain seated while eating or drinking.

However, Victoria’s government has proceeded with a planned relaxation of rules that will mean Crown Melbourne can operate its casino with certain restrictions.

As of 25 June, there is a limit of 300 guests per indoor space, electronic gaming machines must be spaced 1.5m apart – either by every second gaming machine being turned off or physical spacing between machines – and table games must operate at 1.5m apart with seated service only.

Crown Melbourne’s hotels, restaurants and bars will also continue to operate in accordance with Victorian government directions.

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