Crown Melbourne has been forced to delay its reopening date until June 10 after six new Covid-19 cases were reported in Victoria.
Australia.- The Victorian Government has announced the extension of its seven-day lockdown for a further seven days. That means Crown Melbourne will remain closed until June 10.
The countermeasure was taken after Victoria recorded six new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. According to authorities, all were locally acquired cases linked to the current outbreak.
Crown Melbourne said it had suspended: gaming activities, food and beverage, retail, banqueting and conference facilities other than for the provision of takeaway meals or meal delivery services. Hotel accommodation is open for approved purposes.
The casino operator said it would stand down the majority of its staff but will continue to support them financially by paying a one-off discretionary payment.
During the lockdown, people are allowed to leave home to go shopping for food and supplies or if they are essential workers.
Facemasks are mandatory inside and outdoors and people can only exercise and shop within 5km of their home.
Restaurants, pubs and cafes can provide takeaway services only, while clubs TABs and casinos will remain closed, along with swimming pools, spas, community venues, museums, and other indoor and outdoor entertainment.
Customer played for over 34 hours at Crown Melbourne, inquiry hears
Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Resorts has heard that in 2019 a VIP gambler player for over 34 hours at Crown Melbourne before he was forced to take a break.
Adrian Finanzio, counsel assisting the inquiry, has said that Crown did not correctly implement its responsible gambling programme.
Sonja Bauer, Crown’s general manager of responsible gaming, admitted failures and sent a letter stating the casino operator had resolved to implement a series of changes to the programme.
However, Finanzio said the proposed changes should have been implemented a long time ago, arguing: “The letter promises to stop things which, on one view, should never have been happening in the first place.”
The inquiry heard that between 2016 and 2019 Crown Melbourne received around 64,000 daily visitors and employed only 12 staff to monitor responsible gambling.
In May, Crown Melbourne was fined AU$22.5m (US$17.3m) by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).
Of that, $12.5m will pay for the regulator’s inquiry into the casino operator. It must also pay an annual Casino Supervisory Levy of AU$5m in both fiscal year 2021 and fiscal year 2022.
Crown Melbourne will also have to pay a levy for fiscal year 2023, but the amount will be subject to further consultation.
The company had previously been fined AU$1m (US$777,305) for not properly analysing foreign high rollers and their junket operators.