Social distancing rules flouted by Aussie casino

by Ethan Anderson Last Updated
Self-exclusion fines draw criticism from NSW clubs and pubs

Images obtained by an Australian news outlet show that social distancing measures announced last week were not enforced on the gambling floor at Sydney’s Star casino the very next day.

10 Daily reports that on Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced new restrictions on indoor public gatherings that require a four-square metre radius for every person.

“So for example, if you’re got a room, if you’ve got a premises, if you’ve got a meeting room or something like that, that’s 100 square metres, then you can have 25 people in that room,” he said.

But on Saturday, on The Star’s gambling floor in Sydney, people can be seen seated closely at pokie machines and several others grouped together at table games.

Last Thursday, the Star Entertainment Group said it was proactively closing its venues between the hours of 6am to 10am daily to allow for extra cleaning.

It also said it would deactivate every second gaming machine and electronic table.

In response to the images obtained by 10 Daily, a spokesperson for The Star said it was still in the process of reconfiguring its main gaming floor.

“The full reconfiguration will be completed Monday at the latest.

“The Star also continues to work with Government on our approach and timelines,” the spokesperson said.

10 Daily contacted Liquor and Gaming NSW, which said NSW Police has responsibility for ensuring compliance with the policy.

On Saturday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews stripped the Crown Casino of its social distancing exemptions.

Andrews said no more than 100 people will be allowed inside Melbourne’s Crown Casino, with no more than 500 in its outdoor areas.

“The chief health officer has effectively revoked the previous measures, and now Crown, like every other venue, will need to comply with the new orders,” Andrews said.

“They will need to comply like other venues do.

“We’re not confident the measures that were in place and were appropriate are appropriate now,” he said.

Wynn Resorts responds to coronavirus

Wynn Resorts’ Las Vegas properties have increased staff at buffet stations as part of preventative measures amid the coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organisation now classified as a pandemic.

Casino News Daily reported this month that Wynn Resorts, owner and operator of the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip said on Wednesday that it has undertaken a number of measures to protect guests and employees at its properties.

The casino operator said that high-traffic public areas would be sanitised more often, touch points such as handrails, elevator buttons and door handles would be cleaned multiple times throughout the day and slot machines and restaurant counters would be wiped down more regularly.

Wynn Resorts noted that The Buffet at its Wynn property will remain open.

However, the company has placed staff at each food station to serve guests so that they would not need to touch the utensils.

News about the buffet staying open emerged shortly after Wynn Resorts rival MGM Resorts International announced that it would close buffets at all of its Las Vegas casino resorts as a precaution.

In a letter to guests, Wynn Resorts chief executive officer Matt Maddox said that the company has also changed its reservation policies amid concerns over the spread of Covid-19.

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