The world is still struggling to contain the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and we have already beginning to see several industries taking a hit. The gambling industry has been one of the most affected ones particularly due to the recent calls for social distancing and recommendations that have been made against large social gatherings. Macau, one of the biggest gambling destinations on the planet already went through this and now several states in the United States have begun to follow suit by shutting down their operations for varying periods of time.
In Australia, the approach seems to be quite different. Instead of completely shutting down their operations, the casino operators in the country have decided to go with some rather unexpected moves. Besides the obvious risks that the virus poses, the casino operators are also quite worried about their gambling revenues after their shares went tumbling amid the crisis.
Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment Group, two of the biggest gambling brands in the country have decided to go with social distancing measures instead of completely shutting down their businesses. Now, they intend to keep the gamblers apart by turning off every second electronic machine. In addition to that, they will also be limiting the number of players that can go play at various gambling tables.
In general, the total number of patrons visiting the facilities will also be restricted. Crown Resorts, for instance, intends to restrict the number of patrons visiting its banqueting and conference facilities to 450 people. This is in line with a recent directive by the Australian government that warned about any non-essential gatherings consisting of over 500 people.
Pressure from Both Sides
It goes without saying that the casino operators have a social responsibility to aid as much as they can in ensuring that the spread of the virus slows down. The measures they have taken so far are certainly meant to aid such efforts but there are obvious concerns about whether they will be enough. The pressure to deliver on this end is beginning to mount as more casino operators in other parts of the world opt for full closures.
the decision to tone down their operations as opposed to completing closing down their facilities comes from the pressure that the entertainment industry is facing with regards to revenue delivery. Crown Resorts and the Star Entertainment Group have already seen significant impacts on revenue. Closing down completely will be quite devastating for them.
Still, it might be too early to tell whether these measures will pay off as expected. If they do not, more thorough measures may be implemented and this might involve the eventual closure of the gambling spaces in question.