Star Entertainment Can Increase Capacity at Australian Casinos as COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

  • Star Sydney can expand from 1,800 guests up to about 10,000 people
  • Many workers at these properties will be able to return to work after being furloughed
  • New South Wales restrictions on casinos will rolling back on December 7
  • Queensland already eased restrictions on casino floor capacity on November 17
Open padlock stamped with "COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS" on a laptop keyboard
Star Entertainment can start expanding capacity at its casinos as COVID-19 restrictions start to ease in Australia. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Back to work

The Star Entertainment Group has announced that it will start increasing capacity at its Australian casinos. With the pandemic situation in Australia seemingly easing, state governments have been relaxing restrictions in many parts of the country. 

can now have about 10,000 guests

Star Sydney has only been able to have up to 1,800 guests at a time since the property reopened. It can now have about 10,000 guests based on the property’s square meterage. 

These capacity increases spell good news for Star Entertainment employees, many of whom have been under furlough for much of the year. There is no exact figure as to how many people will soon be able to go back to work. 

In a statement. the company said: “The easing in operating restrictions across all three properties will enable us to welcome back additional employees, as well as an increased number of our members and guests to safe and entertaining environments.”

Improving situation

The government in New South Wales (NSW) is no longer limiting casinos to only having a single patron for every four square meters of gaming space. Starting December 7, that number is cut in half, to one customer for every two square meters. There will also no longer be a cap of 300 guests in certain gaming floor areas, but social distancing rules will remain in place. 

Queensland is also easing restrictions, which means that Star Entertainment’s Treasury Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast can expand capacity. All of the slot machines at these properties will be back in operation, with table game seating increasing from four players to seven. Alcohol will also be permitted on the gaming floors.

The one person per two square meters rules already took effect in Queensland on November 17. Its borders are also now open to Victoria and Greater Sydney residents.

A year to forget

Australian casinos originally closed in March due to the worsening COVID-19 situation. While they started to reopen in July, there were significant limitations in place. 

At the time of the initial closures, Star Entertainment stood down 90% of its staff. This meant that more than 8,000 employees who worked on the casino floors, restaurants, and conference areas of these properties were out of work. 

The casino sector in Australia was the fifth-worst hit in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Casinos lost AU$14.2m ($10.5m) every day they were closed. For its financial year ended June 30, Star Entertainment’s net loss was AU$95m ($70.6m) and revenue fell 31% year-on-year.