Wed, Aug 12, 10:25am by William Brown
Crown Casino in Perth was temporarily shut down and evacuated as dozens of people were allegedly blasted with pepper spray.
9News reports the casino’s gaming floor was forced into lockdown at about 11pm on Monday night when a 39-year-old man allegedly fired the spray near roulette tables, hitting multiple people.
Vision from the scene shows security guards running into the area and ushering people out.
Some people used rope bollards as weapons in the ensuing melee, the report says.
Staff were forcer to pin the man to the ground and he was arrested at the scene, with staff later called in to clean the gaming area.
The man has been charged with being armed in or near a public place of entertainment and is expected to appear in Perth Magistrates Court later this month.
Crown Perth has said it cannot comment on the incident because it is currently the focus of a police investigation.
— PerthNow (@perthnow) August 11, 2020
Crown Casino Perth has spent much of the last week preparing for its full reopening, which took place on June 27.
Calvin Ayre reported that with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Western Australia, and with Victoria in the grips of a second wave of COVID cases and Crown’s Melbourne casino remaining closed, it is welcome news for the casino group.
A Crown spokeswoman confirmed the Perth property was ready to receive players last weekend, under new health and safety measures.
“Crown has worked closely with government and health authorities to ensure that our reopening was done in a safe manner for the community, and in compliance with all government mandates including physical distancing requirements and hygiene measures,” she said.
“The past few months have been challenging for many Western Australians, and we look forward to welcoming thousands of our employees back to work in coming weeks,” she added.
Casino operations are able to resume on the gaming floor, with health guidelines in place for food and beverage services.
Under the agreed guidelines with the Western Australian government, there will be a two-square metre rule for social distancing on the gaming floor.
Every second gaming machine will be switched off, and poker will have a maximum five player limit per table.
Given the spike in Victorians infections, the Perth property will be under pressure to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed.
Crown chief executive Ken Barton reaffirmed Crown’s commitment to social distancing.
“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 for welcoming back many of our employees and customers to Crown Perth.”
Crown Casino Perth is considering using debit card chip purchases at its gaming tables.
Tunf reported in July that the Gaming and Wagering Commission is on board the plan, which would see gamblers use their debit cards to purchase chips, without having to go to the casino cage.
Crown has been instructed to provide “a report on the use of the facility at the completion of the first three months of operation.”
The issue the proposal raises is around problem gambling.
According to Crown representatives, there has been “a noticeable shift to the use of cashless payments in our community.”
Crown said that “credit cards will not be allowed and transaction limits will apply” to the trial.
The limits will be A$500 per day.
The American Gaming Association recently released its new Payments Modernisation Policy Principles, which intend to reduce the reliance on cash in US casinos.
Nevada casino have already flirted with Automated Cashless Systems’ PlayOn table-based ATM system.
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