Gambling giant Crown Casino is closing half of its poker machines in an attempt to quash coronavirus spreading, which is… something.
In a move that appears to be the absolute bare minimum Crown could do without actually doing nothing, the casino has deactivated every second poker machine in an effort to implement some sort of social-distancing measures. The casino, which is located in Melbourne’s Southbank, will also not allow customers to sit next to each other at playing tables, which is also… something.
For context, other casinos and gambling venues around the world, including many in Las Vegas, have ceased operations amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Major casino empires like MGM and Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas have made the decision to close all properties in an effort to limit the virus’ spread, according to SMH.
But if you thought our very own Crown Casino would follow suit, you’d be sorely mistaken. Although gambling is the furthest thing from a necessity, Crown intends to remain in operation throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the government’s announcement to ban non-essential gatherings of over 500 people, Crown has limited their bar, nightclub, restaurant and conference facilities across the massive complex to just 450, according to a statement on Monday.
“Crown has also implemented other precautionary measures across its Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth entertainment complexes, including the provision of alcohol-based hand sanitiser and more frequent and strengthened cleaning measures,” the company said in a statement. “Crown will continue to closely monitor the pandemic and follow guidelines from relevant health authorities.”
Crown Melbourne’s social distancing policy has reportedly been approved by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.
Yes, major Melbourne icons like the National Gallery of Victoria have been forced to close their doors, but the Crown Casino is still open for business. It’s truly wild.
To make matters worse, Proudly Pokies Free reports that 18-24 year olds spend more at the pokies than any other age group. Young retail, hospitality and events workers are losing hours (or their jobs), but are still tempted by the hope of winning big at the pokies.
We’re allowing major gambling companies to capitalise on the misfortune of some of the most vulnerable people in our country right now. To call it irresponsible is a huge understatement.
It looks like it’s going to be a tough couple of months, particularly for young people working hospitality/events/retail. Look after your mates.
If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling-related issues, the Gambling Helpline on 1800858858 is available for confidential support 24/7. Alternatively, you can check out their website for additional resources – www.gamblinghelponline.org.au.