Australia’s leading casino operators have joined the growing list of companies around the world to implement social distancing measures on their gaming floors with both Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment Group announcing temporary restrictions in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
Crown said on Monday that it had deactivated every second slot machine and electronic table game, introduced distancing between players at seated gaming tables with no standing players allowed, and limited the number of players at each stand-up table to five at flagship resort Crown Melbourne.
The number of patrons at any one food and beverage outlet will also be limited to 450 alongside a maximum density allowance.
The measures, which follow close consultation with the Victorian Government, have been approved by the Victorian Chief Health Office, Crown said.
Star, which operates The Star Sydney, The Star Gold Coast and Brisbane’s Treasury Casino, announced similar measures including the deactivation of every second gaming machine and electronic table game, reduced capacity at table games and restrictions on the total number of players at each stand up table game. Patronage at individual food and beverage, banqueting and conferencing, and theatre facilities will be limited to under 500 people with density requirements for each outlet, while non-essential work-related air travel has been put on hold.
Both companies had previously announced a raft of heightened cleaning and sanitization protocols across their property portfolios.
These latest restrictions come after a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia, with more than 100 positive tests on the weekend alone taking the national total to 300 as of Monday afternoon. Prime Minister Scott Morrison wasted no time in implementing international travel restrictions with any person arriving in Australia from overseas now subject to a 14-day self-quarantine period.