The Star Sydney Reopens and Others to Follow

As the Australian government slowly loosens COVID-19 lockdown measures across the country, The Star Sydney has been given the green light to get back to business and open its doors. The reopening will also take place at its two other locations in Queensland this Friday, and local casino enthusiasts will be looking forward to entering the exquisite venue once again.

Social distancing at 1.5m.

The Star Sydney will be opening at a reduced capacity and enforcing strict 1.5m social distancing measures throughout the entire venue, along with reduced headcount capacity on admission to the venue. ©geralt/Pixabay

The casino operator has decided to open its flagship venue in Sydney following a brief trial period where VIP guests were able to enter the facility. In this brief trial period, guests were subject to a series of control measures aimed at accessing the safety and viability of a larger reopening in future months. Well, now that time has arrived, and with a range of new procedures and safety mechanisms already in place designed to maximize the safety for guests, The Star Casino in Sydney is preparing to welcome back its guests in the first public reopening.

Current capacity limits on the building allow for up to 5000 guests to enter the facility at any one time, and currently, social distancing measures are still being enforced at the venue. All gaming tables across the venue, including electronic gaming terminals, will be enforcing a gap of at least 1.5m between guests on the casino floor. Official guidelines from the New South Wales Government state that only one person may occupy a space of four square meters. Statements such as these make for easy and effective number crunching as organizational planners work tirelessly to safely maximize footfall across the casino floor.

Queensland will also be able to enjoy the reopening as from July 3 the Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane Casino will be opening to guests in a similar fashion. With social distancing measures being enforced, these two respective venues will be looking to host a maximum capacity of roughly 2,500 guests each.

If the reopening on its own wasn’t enough to generate excitement, news of new private gaming space in The Star Sydney named the Sovereign Room has been released, with early indications suggesting that this exclusive new section of the casino will be ready to open from as early as August.

With the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the highly infectious nature of the virus becoming increasingly apparent to countries that have failed to enact sufficient social distancing measures, pressure from advocates of harsher lockdown measures has been fierce – with many critics suggesting that the reopening are unnecessary and a risk to public safety.

Sta Entertainment Group has defended its decision to reopen the casino floor, however, and they insist that public safety is at the forefront of all their decision making. The conservative reopening is nowhere near the capacity of this enormous venue, and for guests visiting The Star Sydney, it will seem particularly empty with all the extra space. The next stage of this reopening process is highly dependent on the success of the initial phase now being launched, so the stakes are high for Star Entertainment to deliver a safe and professional reopening in the context of a global health scare.

Star Entertainment Share Price Lifts

With the news of a Star Entertainment Casino in Sydney and Queensland opening this weekend, the markets were quick to react to the news. The share price of the international casino brand lifted marginally by nearly 5% as investors looked at the future short-term increase in cash-flows favorably.

Even with the casino only opening its doors on a reduced table of operations shareholders still saw a significant benefit this week. However, they will be all too reminiscent of the disastrous last quarter that has seen a considerable chunk of market valuation wiped off the face of their investments, and share prices in casino firms falling around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit two of Australia’s largest casino conglomerates the hardest, with the closures significantly damaging their traded share price on the market. Star Entertainment Group securities were down nearly 38% on a previous year high with a devastating drop in revenue being the key driving force behind the dismal returns on the market. Similarly, Crown Resorts saw their market capitalization drop by over 25% in the same period -  but with more re-openings also scheduled for the nation’s largest gambling operator, they’ll be hoping to quickly make up the lost ground and get back to the familiar financial territory.

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Sydney harbour.

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