Australian gambling and entertainment firm, The Star Entertainment Group, has recently implemented updated operating procedures at The Star Sydney in compliance with new restrictions recently announced by New South Wales (NSW) Premier, Gladys Berejiklian.
An Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announcement details how the Brisbane-based firm will be offering priority access exclusively to high-value patrons with the 20 000m2casino floor being divided up into different zones to maintain compliance with the restrictions that came int effect on 24 July 2020.
As per the casino’s website, “access to the casino floor is limited to Members of The Star Club from 7:00 pm Friday, 24 July. Restaurants and hotels are still open for everyone to enjoy”
The introduction of the new measures follows a four week period that saw restrictions relaxed across the country. Unfortunately, a recent outbreak in the state which saw 82 new cases crop up in a matter of days, necessitated the reintroduction of virus-fighting restrictions in pubs, and hospitality venues including casinos.
A focus on reduction
Premier Berejiklian identified indoor activities as a major concern as the virus could easily spread in such situations and moved to minimize them through the new measures which were designed to ease the burden currently placed on health authorities as contacting and tracing the infected is a time and energy-consuming process.
The venue had only just recently reopened with a reduced capacity of 5000 in early July, however, in terms of the most recent guidelines of the NSW Government Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No. 4) Amendment Order (No. 2), each of the separated areas inside the casino will be held to a maximum of 300 patrons and mingling between patrons is forbidden with a 4m2 distance between them to be enforced.
The venue’s staffing levels will also have to be adjusted to ensure compliance. In a statement, the company advised, “as previously disclosed, with a visitation capacity of around 900 patrons from 19 to 30 June 2020, average daily pokies and table gaming volumes were comparable with 1H FY2020 private gaming room levels.”
Poker on hold
The Star entertainment group also made a recent announcement relating to the new restrictions, stating that all cash games and tournaments at its flagship casino’s poker room would be canceled for the remainder of 2020, this includes the highly anticipated WSOP Sydney.
A statement on the casino’s various social media channels confirmed the venue’s decision, stating,
“Star Poker cash games and tournaments have been canceled until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank everyone for understanding.”
This was also confirmed by a spokesperson for Star Sydney who advised that WSOP Sydney is “effectively on hold indefinitely until the necessary easing of restrictions presents options.”