Crown Casino in Perth has had to close its doors for the second time during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this latest closure is bound to be far shorter as Crown Resorts Perth is shutting down its Western Australia complex for only five days due to the snap lockdown aimed at immediately stopping community transmissions of the virus.
All Gambling Activities Cease for Five Days
The Perth gambling venue will remain closed until the evening of February 5, according to what Crown Resorts told the ASX at the start of this week.
The five-day closure will affect all gaming activities and hospitality services, meaning that Crown’s WA patrons will have to wait until February 5 to resume gambling at the Perth complex.
Takeaway meals and food delivery services won’t be affected by the mini lockdown, though. These will continue to operate as they did before the five-day lockdown.
Hotel accommodation will continue to be available too, but Crown Perth’s hotel will work at a reduced capacity.
The company hasn’t set a limit on the number of guests that can stay in the hotel and it also hasn’t asked any guests to leave. However, Crown Resorts is assessing the situation for each incoming guest before it allows them to stay there.
Second Closure Due to a Lockdown in a Year
This is the second lockdown that Crown Perth has had to deal with and it is the second time the casino closes its doors as a result. The first Crown Perth closure was back in March of last year when there were lockdowns across the entire country.
In addition to these two instances of the Perth casino closing, Crown as a company has had to contend with yet another lockdown and casino closure. Last year, in June, Crown Melbourne had to be closed for an extended period because of the second wave of COVID-19 infections in Victoria.
Waiting for the NSW Inquiry Findings
The second Perth shutdown comes at a time when Crown Resorts is under greater scrutiny than ever before. The company recently opened its high-end Sydney hotel in Barangaroo but wasn’t able to open the gaming floors in the resort as it didn’t get all NSW gambling licenses it needed.
NSW’s Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) launched an inquiry into Crown Resorts for breaching anti-money-laundering laws and for the company not being able to govern itself properly.
The findings of the inquiry are expected to be announced this month by Commissioner Patricia Bergin, SC, with the faith of the newly built, multi-billion dollar Sydney casino hanging on the line.
Crown Resorts employees admitted that it was “more probable than not” that there might have been money laundering taking place at both Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth.
The company is accused that it allowed gamblers to launder money using two shell accounts that were linked to the two Crown Resorts casinos.
And while the company stopped working with the junket tour operator that facilitated the alleged money-laundering taking place in Melbourne and Perth, it is still to be determined whether Crown Resorts just turned a blind eye or was actively involved in the criminal act.
West Australian gambling regulators are reportedly in constant communication with their NSW colleagues and are eagerly waiting for the inquiry findings. WA regulators have said that they will wait until the findings of the inquiry are made public before they will take any action concerning Crown Perth’s operations.
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