Sydney’s Lockout is Driving Everyone to The Star Casino

A few weeks back, we reported on how Sydney’s tough new licensing laws have led to a boom in unlicensed, underground warehouse parties around the city. 
Well, it seems they’ve had another knock-on effect, funneling the city’s remaining drinkers to one spot: The Star Casino, which is conveniently located in Pyrmont, just outside the lockout zone.  
Where bars and clubs across King’s Cross and the CBD can not admit any new patrons after 1.30am, and must stop serving drinks altogether from 3.00am, The Star is able to operate as normal thanks to its location.
This weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald checked in with The Star, and found that business there is booming in the wake of the new laws, which have seen scores of young drinkers “migrating outside” the lockout zone to areas such as Newtown and Pyrmont.
In recent months, weekend evenings have seen long lines of people waiting to get into the casino’s nightclub, in order to catch a few more precious hours of grinding to Jason Derulo and shouting “I’M SO FARKEN WAAASTED” to strangers on the dance floor.
The Herald spoke to several anonymous casino employees, who confirmed that the venue has been much busier since the lockout, with legions of people filing in at around 1 and 2am. CBD taxi drivers say that The Star is now their only option for pickups after 1am.
Management deny that the lockout has led to a bump in patronage, but they’re certainly not hurting in the wake of the lockout. In the period between January and June this year, the venue’s underlying revenue was $715 million, up roughly 15% from the same period last year.
The mass exodus of belligerent drunks from the CBD to the casino has law enforcement a bit worried.  “Having an epicentre for alcohol can lead to massive issues with alcohol-related violence,” said NSW Police spokesman Scott Weber.
Indeed, it does seem that the lockout, which was meant to curb drunken violence in King’s Cross, may end up shifting said violence a bit further west.
James Packer‘s planned casino development at Barangaroo, across the water from The Star, will also be exempt from the lockout. As we speak, he is probably sitting in an underground bunker, stroking a white cat and chuckling about how everything is going according to plan.
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