Australia: pubs in Melbourne demand payout due to Covid-19 impact

Many Australian pubs host slot machines.
Many Australian pubs host slot machines.

A group of nine pubs has petitioned for insurers to pay out due to closures and the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Australia.- Pubs in the city of Melbourne have signed a petition against their insurers urging them to cover losses from the first Covid-19 lockdown.

The group of pubs is claiming a sum of $26m due to the impact of Covid countermeasures.

According to The Australian, the pubs argue that between June 30, 2019, and June 30, 2020, a policy to cover events like the Covid-19 within 40 kilometres of the premises was provided by the insurance companies.

David Locke, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority chief, said he has 120 Covid-19 business interruption insurance disputes on record, 21 of which have been closed. 

Locke said: “Discussions have commenced with the ICA and the National Insurance Brokers Association to streamline claims once the courts’ final decisions have been delivered.”

Record player losses in Melbourne

The city of Brimbank, in western Melbourne, Victoria, recorded record player losses on pokies after operations resumed following Covid-19 restrictions.

December set a new record for monthly player losses at AU$14.7m, followed by AU$13.8m in January, March saw losses of AU$14.6m. February saw a new record for daily losses at AU$482,168.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform has urged the state government to reduce pokie operating hours, noting that Victorian machine venues had the longest opening hours in Australia at 20 hours a day.