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Australian Casinos Closed to Slow Down the Spread Of Covid-19

Posted on March 25, 2020 | 11:22 am

It’s time for Australians to get ready for dramatic changes in their everyday lives as Prime Minister Scott Morrison has introduced a number of measures to stop the coronavirus spreading.

Announced on Sunday evening, they entered into force the next day, March 23, at noon meaning complete shut down of all casinos and other entertainment venues such as pubs, night clubs, and cinemas.

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Stage One Restrictions

The announcement came as a result of the meeting of state and territory premiers and chief ministers, who concluded that the social distancing policy was not enough to halt the ongoing spread of the dangerous virus.

Therefore, it was agreed to add stronger restrictions by closing places where a lot of people congregate. Apart from casinos and pubs, these are also gyms and indoor sporting venues.

Expected to last for at least six months…

…the so-called “stage-one“ restrictions are aimed to slow the virus down and protect Aussies’ lives. The measures are going to be reviewed every month and could be increased if required by health authorities. Further closures of other places could be taken up under “stage two“ restrictions, which have not yet been clarified.

The closure of casinos comes after the suspension of the 2020 Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) seasons, somewhat earlier decided to be played behind closed doors. At the same time, both horse and greyhound racing are set to continue behind closed doors.

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Tabcorp Offers Digital Alternatives

Commenting on the situation, David Attenborough, managing director and CEO of Tabcorp, the country’s biggest gambling operator said:

“The health and safety of our people, our partners and the community are our priority at this point in time. We are working with governments, regulators, and our venue and racing industry partners to manage the impact on them, our customers and our businesses during this unprecedented period.”

Tabcorp operates gaming machines in hotels and pubs, so the company is aware, the closure will affect its revenues while eventual worsening of the situation could lead to the shutting down of their betting shops. By the way, back in December, 400 of TAB betting agencies were equipped with AI-back surveillance to combat underage gambling.

As things stand now…

…convenience stores and other local sellers of Tabcorp’s lottery products are still open. “We recognize how difficult this situation is for our people, our industry partners and the community, and we are committed to using the strength of our business model and our enduring partnerships to come through this stronger, together,” added David Attenborough.

Saying that Tabcorp is striving to reduce its operating and capital expenditure wherever possible, the company encourages retail customers to switch to online services.

“We have implemented our business continuity plans and have maintained continuity of service, even with the vast majority of our employees now operating remotely,” Attenborough said. “Despite the impact of these changes in licensed venues and, potentially, TAB agencies, we continue to offer customers wagering & media and keno products through our digital channels.”

Source: “Australia closes casinos to slow Covid-19“iGaming Business. March 23, 2020.

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