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Star to ramp up casino operations as Covid-19 measures eased

| By Robert Fletcher
Star Entertainment Group is to increase activities at its properties in New South Wales and Queensland after the two Australian states eased restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The operator had been limited to the number of people it could permit to enter its Star Sydney property in New South Wales at one time, with the state having had in place a limit whereby only one customer was allowed per four square metres and a maximum of 300 patrons per area.

As of 7 December, this will be eased to one person per two square metres, which Star said would allow it to increase its total patronage capacity at the casino from 1,800 to approximately 10,000.

Meanwhile, Queensland’s government has also eased certain Covid-19 measures that will also permit Star to permit more customers into its Star Gold Coast property.

Since 17 November, the one person per four square metres rule has been cut to one person per two square metres, thus allowing more patrons on site.

All gaming machines at the venue can now be switched on, having previously been limited to allow for social distancing, while the maximum amount of players per table has been increased from four to seven, and customers can now consume alcohol while standing.

In addition, Star said that the re-opening of the Queensland border to residents of Greater Sydney and Victoria from 1 December should help increase visitation to Star Gold Coast property.

The announcement comes after Star in October reported a 25% year-on-year drop in revenue for the first 15 weeks of its 2021 financial year, warning that the impact of Covid-19 could continue throughout the year.

For the 15 weeks through to 15 October, group domestic gaming revenue was approximately 75% of the prior comparable year, while group domestic revenue came to 70% of prior year levels.

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