Crown Perth Given Boost As Western Australia Relaxes COVID-19 Restrictions

Corwn Perth celebrates as Western Australia moves into phase five of COVID-19 restrictions easing

Crown Resorts received some welcomed news from Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan. Western Australia moves into phase five of eased COVID-19 restrictions from June 23. The announcement makes it possible for Crown Perth to open at full capacity.

Moving into the fifth phase of easing restrictions is excellent news for the hospitality sector. The existing two-square-metre rule and 75% capacity limit is lifted.

Mr. McGowan explained more.

“What that will mean is that for many venues around the state – hospitality venues in particular – they’ll be able to go back to normal, as we were pre-COVID. We’re confident in doing this because we know people do the right thing when necessary.”

Western Australia is only the second jurisdiction to move into phase five. The Northern Territory was the first.

COVID-19 hit everyone hard, especially the hospitality sector, where thousands of Australians lost their jobs. However, returning to normality in Western Australia gives the area a morale boost.

“I’m sure for the many thousands of employees in restaurants, bars, cafes, pubs, casinos, and the like around the state, this will be welcome news and make life easier.”

AHA Hopes Other States Will Follow in the Footsteps of Western Australia

Bradley Woods is the chief executive of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA). He estimates 8,000 hospitality positions need filling.

“The effects of moving to phase five are substantial and widespread. Businesses can grow with confidence and employ more staff, patrons will no longer be turned away from venues that are half full, and weddings can go ahead at full capacity.”

“8,000 positions need filling. It’s a huge number to fill. We know that it’s curtailing the ability of venues to operate in full gear.”

The Western Australia Premier is easing restriction following advice from medical and scientific experts. The state has only seen three new COVID-19 cases since May 12. Western Australia is winning the fight against COVID, but Health Minister Roger Cook emphasises the importance of getting vaccinated.

“If we want to stay at phase five, I want people in Western Australia to remember one thing: you have to continue to do the right thing. Make sure you practice good hygiene, make sure you check in as you go into a venue, make sure you get yourself tested, and stay away from work or school when you’re unwell. And, of course, if you’re eligible, please get yourself vaccinated.”

Timely Boost For Crown Perth

Crown Perth is the only major casino operating in Western Australia. In addition, it is the only venue in the state to operate pokies.

A royal commission into Crown Perth’s affairs began on March 5 and is still ongoing. The commission is inquiring into the suitability of Crown Perth to continue holding a casino gaming licence.

The commission heard about a potential conflict of interest between the Western Australian regulator and Crown employees. Chief casino officer Michael Connolly is friends with Crown executives Paul Hulme and Claude Marais.

Allegations including turning a blind eye to money laundering, poor responsible gaming practices, and tax avoidance are just three significant negatives to come out of the inquiry to date.

Meanwhile, Oaktree Capital revised its proposal to purchase James Packer’s shares last week. Oaktree increased its offer from $3 billion to $3.1 billion and added a few stipulations.

Packer holds 37% of Crown’s stock and enjoys massive voting power as a result. The recent Bergin Inquiry, from which the royal commissions stem, was unhappy with Packer’s influence over the running of Crown Resorts. Packer struck a deal with the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to relinquish those voting rights.

There is every chance the royal commission will deem Crown Resorts unfit for a casino gaming licence. We discover its fate on August 1. However, until then, we should celebrate normality returning to Western Australia and, hopefully, the rest of the country.