1. ACT Government offers cash for EGMs in COVID-19 buy-back scheme

The ACT is offering clubs an opportunity to surrender poker machines for $15,000 per authorisation licence as long as the proceeds go to retaining and financially supporting staff during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, said: “The government will provide further support to community clubs and Casino Canberra, to enable them to keep staff employed. Measures include providing gaming machine licensees with the opportunity to access a payment of $15,000 per authorisation if they voluntarily surrender gaming machine authorisations.”

There will also be a waiver/refund of gaming machine tax liabilities for clubs for March 2020 gaming activity (for clubs that pay tax monthly) or gaming activity in the first quarter of 2020 (for clubs that pay tax quarterly).

Casino Canberra won’t have to pay its annual licence fee and gaming tax liabilities for March 2020.

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2. The Star estimates the cost of the COVID-19 shutdown

Following the recent casino shutdown, The Star has estimated in a report to the stock exchange that a 3 month shutdown will cost their company $220 Million (AUD) and a 6 month shutdown would cost $320 million (AUD).

More than 90% of the staff working at The Star properties (about 8,500 staff) have been stood down

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Matt Bekier stated, “The Star is implementing …wide-ranging measures to strengthen the balance sheet and preserve liquidity in the current exceptional circumstances. The shutdown continues to have a significant impact on our people and their families, and the group welcomes the Australian government’s support, particularly the JobKeeper Payment program”.

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3. Crown stands down 95% of staff but construction can continue at Barangaroo

In a similar position Crown has also stood down 95% of their staff, providing payment of two weeks’ pay to non-senior management (full-time and part-time employees), and that a lump sum payment of A$1,000 to casual workers.

On the other hand, Crown also announced that the Crown Sydney project is continuing construction as planned, and it remains on track to be completed by the end of the year. The project cost is still expected to be approximately A$2.2 billion. Workforce stand downs do not apply to this under-construction facility.

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