Crown Melbourne Launches 12 Hour Daily Visit Policy

Crown Melbourne's 12 hour daily visit policy is necessary for the casino to remain open, but causes issues for the venue's poker players.

Crown Melbourne has implemented a new policy designed to help promote responsible gambling. The 12 Hour Daily Visit policy is in operation at Crown’s Melbourne property following recommendations brought up by the royal commission.

“12 Hour Daily Visit policy is in operation at Crown Melbourne”, a landing page on Crown’s website reads. “It is part of our ongoing commitment to Responsible Gaming, and a way for us to encourage our guests to enjoy their visits responsibly.”

“Throughout a visit to Crown, we may check in on you from time to time. Breaks in play are encouraged and if your visit spans 12 hours, we will ask you to take a 12 hour break.

“One of these friendly conversations to check in is just a simple way for our team to engage with our guests and promote responsible behaviours toward gaming.”

Crown discussed the idea of a 12 hour gaming limit but the plan never made it to fruition. There is no statement on the Australian Stock Exchange, but the policy is in play right now.

12 Hour Daily Visit Policy As the Royal Commission Recommended

The Royal Commission into Crown Melbourne published the reports of its findings on October 26. It deemed Crown Melbourne unsuitable to hold a casino license in Victoria, but it allowed Crown to continue operating.

A report about one Crown patron gambling for 34 hours straight shocked the panel. The casino’s head of responsible gaming, Sonja Bauer, told the court the casino encouraged electronically tracked players to take a break every 12, 15, and 17 hours. However, staff do not automatically check untracked players; that is a manual process.

Bauer revealed Crown Melbourne only employed 12 staff to monitor and encourage responsible gaming. These dozen employees were responsible for keeping an eye on up to 64,000 people a day. It does not take a genius to figure out 12 people is nowhere near enough to do this job properly.

More Than 30 Recommendations

The royal commission put forward 33 recommendations to the Victorian government. A large number of those revolve around responsible gambling.

First, every Crown Melbourne customer has to play with a loyalty card. Crown’s staff monitor the cards at all times, tracking wins and losses.

In addition, every customer is part of the “Your Play” system that tracks all their action. A stop loss is in place for all players of pokies. It is possible to increase and decrease this stop loss.

Furthermore, a 15 minute break is required when a patron plays pokies for three hours. Nobody is allowed to play more for more than 12 hour in a 24 hour period. Also, no player is permitted to gamble for more than 36 hours in a week.

New Rules Hit The Poker Room Hard

Crown Resorts is best known for its casino games and pokies, but it has a vibrant poker scene, too. The 12 Hour Daily Visit policy hits the poker room and its players like a sledgehammer.

COVID-19 restrictions rendered Crown’s poker room obsolete for most of the pandemic. Tournaments have not happened, but the poker room is famous for the annual Aussie Millions series. Other events include the Crown Poker Championship, Melbourne Poker Championship, and Victorian Poker Championship.

The new 12 Hour Daily Visit policy essentially ends tournament poker as we know it at Crown. Major tournaments often start around lunchtime and last until the early hours of the morning. For example, the Aussie Millions Main Event lasts at least five days in total. However, someone making it through one of the days is required to have a 12 hour break from the casino. Furthermore, the 36 gambling hours in a week makes it impossible to reach the latter stages of a major event.

Of course, Crown implemented this new 12 hour policy in order to remain open. The Victorian government would likely slam Crown’s door shut had it not complied. Unfortunately, the new 12 hour policy looks like leaving poker players high and dry. A double blow considering the lack of online poker options in Australia at present.