Australian casinos feel impact of growing COVID-19 outbreak

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Crown Perth


Casino and integrated resort operators Australia-wide are feeling the pain from an outbreak of COVID-19 that is rapidly spreading across the country.

The so-called Bondi cluster, in reference to the famous Sydney beachside suburb of Bondi in which it originated, had surged well past 100 cases as of Monday but has also found its way across state borders in recent days with new cases detected in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Last Friday The Star Sydney revealed it was suspending operations for at least seven days, later extended to two weeks, after Australias most populous city was placed into lockdown.

However, restrictions and closures have now hit other jurisdictions too, including Darwin where eight cases of COVID-19 have seen the city placed into lockdown until at least 2 July. Mindil Beach Casino Resort, owned and operated by US gaming and hospitality firm Delaware North, said it will remain closed for the duration of the lockdown period.

On Monday night, Western Australia announced it was entering a four-day lockdown for the Perth and Peel regions after three cases of COVID-19 were detected. Crown Resorts had suspended gaming activities for three days from late last week but will now extend the closure period until at least midnight this coming Friday.

In Queensland, The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane both operated by Star Entertainment Group remain open but are now subject to new restrictions, including a capacity limit of one person per four square metres indoors, mandatory mask-wearing and patrons to be seated while eating or drinking.

Crown Resorts announced Monday that it had suspended all food and beverage as well as conferencing facilities at Crown Sydney due to Sydneys lockdown. However, Crown Melbourne which had recently been subject to tight restrictions following an earlier outbreak of COVID-19 in Melbourne has seen its restrictions eased.

Under current conditions, Crown is limited to 300 guests per indoor space with gaming machines to be spaced 1.5 meters apart and every second machine made unavailable, while table games must also be spaced 1.5 meters apart.

Crown Melbournes hotels, restaurants and bars are open and continue to operate in accordance with Victorian Government directions, Crown said.

Australia recorded 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday of which 18 were in Sydney.