The coronavirus has shown no sign of slowing its global spread, but the show must go on as the saying goes and the Australian casino gambling is gradually getting back to business. A few states have already permitted the reopening of gambling facilities. SkyCity Adelaide in South Australia recently opened for business again and the New Zealand-based SkyCity was able to welcome local punters back to their venue in May.
COVID-19’s South Australian impact
Recent data reveals that there has been a total of 443 confirmed cases in South Australia with 436 recoveries and four deaths.
Australia total confirmed case count stands at just over 8,000 at present, with a total of 104 deaths. Beyond the tragic fatalities, Australia is performing quite well in their management of the pandemic, considering the 10.7 million global cases that have resulted in 516,000 fatalities.
SkyCity Adelaide closed its doors on March 23rd due to the threat of the virus but was able to resume restricted operations on June 29th.
This move coincided with South Australia’s transition to its third and final stage of their plan to reopen the state’s economy. This news bodes well for casino employees as it means the reinstatement of up to 950 jobs at the historic Railway Station on the banks of the Torrens.
Premier Rewards members only
This initial reopening period will see members of SkyCity’s Premier Rewards club having exclusive access to the casino. The club offers numerous rewards and perks to its members, namely:
- Increased betting limits
- Food and beverage discounts
- Exclusive promos and events
- Free parking
- Members earn redeemable points as they play which can be exchanged for everything from chips to food
- Merchandise discounts
- Larger jackpots
- Members can be selected as a VIP player
The members-only rule enables tracking of how many and which people are in the casino at any given time, which makes contact tracing a simple matter.
SkyCity Adelaide expects this interim period to conclude by mid-July when it plans to reopen to the general public who have otherwise been playing at legal casinos online. Punters will be required to sign up on the day of their visit and produce valid photo ID.
More than just arm’s length
SkyCity Adelaide has gone through some significant changes to provide a safe environment. The adjustments mostly relate to keeping safe distances and minimising contact:
- Everyone is required to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres between each other.
- Every alternate gaming machine will be kept off to maintain space between players.
- Hand sanitizer is available for all guests and employees.
- A three-person limit on table games and a ban on back-betting will be enforced.
The limit of one person for every two metres has effectively reduced the casino’s maximum occupancy to about 2,200, including employees, but this will naturally return to normal as the impact of the virus fades and restrictions are further relaxed.
The casino’s current hours of operation are as follows:
- Gaming machines are available from 9 am.
- Table games start operation at midday.
- The casino shuts at 4 am, Sunday to Thursday.
- On Friday and Saturday, the casino closes at 6 am.
The reward/birthday points programmes
SkyCity Adelaide’s reward programme gives members two types of points and members have thankfully been given an extension on how long they have to redeem them.
The expiry of reward points has been put off until January 1st, 2021. On this date, all points earned before July 1st, 2020 will expire. All other points will remain viable for six months from the time they were awarded.
Reward program members also get bonus points for their birthdays. In 2020, members with birthdays that fall from March through August will be able to redeem these points until September 30th.