The largest casino operator in Australia is reopening its Perth casino on July 27, according to reports. Crown Resorts closed its Perth property on March 23 following instructions from the government. Prime Minister Scott Morrison ordered all non-essential business to bolt their doors closed to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It’s had the green light to reopen earlier than expected, albeit with several strict rules and guidelines in place.
It’s been three months since Crown’s Perth casino last welcomed customers through the door. Thousands of staff temporarily lose their jobs as Crown had no form of income. Some of those staff are hopeful of returning to work.
Crown confirmed the news in a media release to the Australian Stock Exchange.
“Crown announced today that with effect from Saturday 27 June 2020 Crown Perth will re-commence operations of its casino and gaming floor, food and beverage outlets under temporary restrictions agreed with the Western Australian Government. This follows the Western Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet’s announcement regarding the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Western Australia.”
The Perth casino is agreeing to strict measures to allow its early reopening. These include, but aren’t limited to, enhanced hygiene protocols and limiting players at table games such as roulette. Crown has also agreed to ensure physical distancing between patrons at electronic gaming machines and pokies. Switching off half its pokies will achieve these measures. Crown implemented these measures previously as it bid to remain open before the lockdown.
Capacity Limits Enforced At Crown’s Perth Casino
Crown’s Perth casino is massive and will look larger after an agreement to limit capacity on the gaming floor. The Perth property has 2,500 pokies and 350 gaming tables, including blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, and Caribbean Stud. Crown is limiting the number of players at all its table games and the number of customers coming through the door.
The Perth casino is limiting entrants to stay to a maximum density of one person per two square metres. This includes staff.
Not being able to reopen fully is disappointing for Crown and its patrons. Remaining closed is the alternative, however.
Ken Barton, the Chief Executive Officer of Crown Resorts, is looking forward to reopening its Perth casino.
“Crown’s priority is to the health and safety of our employees, customers and the community. The physical distancing and hygiene measures have been developed in consultation with the Government, Commissioner of Police and Chief Health Officer to allow reopening in a safe manner. We look forward to welcoming back many of our employees and customers to Crown Perth casino.”
Crown’s Perth Casino Reopens But Melbourne Remains Closed
Crown can’t seem to catch a break at the moment. It’s been battling with several controversies over the past few months and had to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. While it’s delighted to reopen its Perth casino, its flagship Melbourne property is staying closed for now.
Melbourne remains closed for the foreseeable future following a recent outbreak of COVID-19 clusters across Victoria this week. The most recent coronavirus figures show 7,492 confirmed cases in Australia and 102 deaths.
Victoria was set to relax its lockdown laws but has tightened them following these outbreaks. Residents are restricted to five guests inside their homes and public gathering of more than 10 are prohibited.
Aussies calling Hume, Brimbank, Moreland, Darebin, Cardinia, and Casey home are advised against travelling. The measures are in place for at least the next three weeks. Some 116 new confirmed cases came from these areas.
What Are Other Countries Doing Regarding Casinos?
Las Vegas allowed its casinos to reopen on June 4 and business is going well. Poker rooms face continued restrictions. Cash games take place on five-handed tables, which some casinos say isn’t worth their time.
King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic reopened on May 12 after two months enforced closure. King’s essentially does what it likes in the small Czech town. Poker cash games, tournaments, and a full array of table games are running.
There’s a different story with our cousins from the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in the process of relaxing lockdown rules, including halving the recommended two-metre social distancing. Today, he revealed pubs can reopen on July 4, but casinos are to remain shut much to the dismay of the gambling industry. Having Perth casino open, even at reduced capacity, is better than its doors remaining closed like in the UK.