Crown casino savaged for staying open during 'national security' crisis

Friday 20th March 2020

The deputy head of parliament's powerful national security committee has savaged the Victorian government for allowing Crown casino to keep operating during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the failure to shut it down might expose more people and prompts national security concerns.

The blast from Labor politician Anthony Byrne against his party's own state government came as Crown Resorts suspended its shares from trading until next Tuesday, or further announcement, while it is "continuing to work with the Victorian government" over its virus response.

Mr Byrne rubbished the description of Crown by the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews as a "unique" space that was entitled to remain open pending further advice, and described the decision to keep operating as "untenable".

"Given this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic is a matter of national security requiring us to take all steps to protect our community, Crown and other casinos have to be shut down," Mr Byrne said. "Crown doesn't offer a unique community service. It is not a special place. It undermines confidence in government measures to contain the virus by giving Crown a free ride to remain open."

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