Australian casino industry latest to close amid national COVID-19 lockdown - IAG

Sunday 22nd March 2020

Casinos, pubs and clubs across Australia will shut down on Monday after the federal government announced a shutdown of non-essential services.

The shutdown will include a variety of businesses not considered essential to everyday life, with the government specifically naming casinos, pubs and clubs as well as cinemas, nightclubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues and places of worship among those to close.

Supermarkets, office buildings, banks, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, freight and logistics are among those businesses to remain operational.

Australia's casinos had until Sunday resisted calls to shut down completely, with Star Entertainment Group having last week revealed instead a four-hour closure each morning at its properties in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast for a "deep clean."

Crown Resorts issued a statement early Sunday morning, before the government's shutdown was announced, in which it revealed the closure of its main gaming floor at Crown Melbourne. However, it named a number of areas that were to remain operational with a maximum of 100 people allowed in each at any one time. Those areas primarily included Crown Melbourne's high limit gaming areas and, surprisingly, its poker room.

Neither Crown Resorts nor Star Entertainment had issued any new statement as of Monday morning in relation to the government's latest lockdown measures, however SkyCity Entertainment Group issued a market release in which it confirmed the closure of Adelaide Casino and withdrew its earnings guidance for the year ending 30 June 2020.

Reading in shares of both Crown and Star were halted as of Monday morning pending ASX announcements.

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