Crown Melbourne, the flagship property of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts, has been given permission to resume some gaming operations from this week, albeit with substantial health and safety restrictions.
Melbourne’s only casino has been closed since 23 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with earlier plans to reopen in the middle of the year thwarted by a second wave that resulted in a statewide shutdown of non-essential services.
With Victoria now riding a run of 10 consecutive days without any new locally acquired cases and public lockdowns eased, Crown said Monday that it has now received approval to commence the operation of a “limited number of electronic gaming machines and electronic table games,” most likely from this Thursday 12 November.
Gaming will be limited to VIP patrons in 10 designated areas with a maximum of 10 patrons in each area, and smoking will not be permitted. There will also be a requirement for every second machine to be disabled while no single patron will be allowed on the gaming floor for more than 90 minutes per day.
“We have been working for some time with the Victorian Government and health authorities to determine how we can safely re-open Crown Melbourne and have developed extensive physical distancing and hygiene measures to allow re-opening in a safe manner,” said Crown Resorts CEO Ken Barton.
“We are pleased to be able to commence the process of welcoming back our employees and customers to Crown Melbourne.”
The company said it had reopened its Crown Towers hotel from Monday, while some retail and F&B outlets opened from last week.
Crown Resorts, which is currently fighting to retain the casino license for its AU$2.2 billion Crown Sydney development following a suitability hearing, reopened its Western Australian casino, Crown Perth, in late June.