Gambling operators in Australia are currently in damage control mode after authorities ordered all venues to close for the next six months in an effort to contain Coronavirus outbreak.
This past Sunday, Scott Morrison, Australia’s PM, ordered all restaurants, bars, casinos and clubs to shut down by noon of the following Monday. The closures, whose intention is to slow the spread of the virus, will last at least six months, and is likely to deal a big blow to the casino industry.
Crown resort, whose main floor in Melbourne was close this past weekend after it lost exemption from Coronavirus containment measure stated that their hotels would continue to operate under a reduced efficiency, but every other activity was essentially toast.
The firm also suspended their trading in shares last week ahead of the Melbourne announcement. This move was followed closely by The Star Entertainment Group, which also stated that it would halt trading until tomorrow. Reports have also emerged to the effect that customers at The Star’s flagship casino in Sydney were not following government and the firm’s social distancing directives.
SkyCity Entertainment Group, an operator based in New Zealand who also runs a casino in Adelaide, in a statement pointed out that they would be closing the venue and withdraw all its earnings guidance for this fiscal year based on the uncertainty as to the length of the closure.
SkyCity also stated that their domestic casinos would remain operational in the meantime, but the management warned that they are ready for a potential closure of properties in New Zealand in the event the government raised the current alert level beyond level 2.
Elsewhere, TABCORP Holdings, an Aussie Lottery and betting operator, is running out of options. The firm issued a statement in which it acknowledged that shutting down of hotels and casinos would greatly impact its business in these venues. But, the firm noted that other outlets, such as convenience stores, from which they sell their products are likely to remain operational for the time being.
Although the firm stated that it hopes its customers will now turn to its digital channel in droves, closure of its major sports events indicates that digital betters won’t have as many sporting events to wager upon.