In Australia, restaurant owners and slot machine fans can breathe a sigh of relief. After several weeks of closure, the government allows pubs to be reopened and the machines, which are affectionately known in the country as “pokies”, to start operating from June 1st.
This means that a more than two-month dry spell will come to an end on the coming Whit Monday for players and operators of restaurants and pubs. At the end of March, the Australian government ordered a nationwide closure of shops due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 infections.
In the pubs, however, there are strict hygiene and distance rules. For example, operators must guarantee a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between all those present at all times, with only one person allowed to be in each 4 m². If there are too many devices in a room, the operators have to switch off as many of them until the distance rules can be observed.
Australian gamblers saved a billion dollars during the Covid-19 shutdown of land-based gambling establishments. It is estimated that Australians spent around AUD 1.5 billion less on gambling during this time.
According to the Australian media, however, the announcement that they will be allowed to operate their slot machines as long as food is served in their shops and no more than 50 people are present should be much more interesting for the pub owners.
The approval to operate the pokies is part of the efforts of the Australian government authorities to support the restaurants that have been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19-related closings.
In addition, the government has postponed tax payments on income from the pokies until the end of August. However, there are already several voices on the part of the operator that require further help.
But the joy of the restart announced for the beginning of June is not shared by all companies in the gaming sector. For example, casinos and gaming halls must remain closed until further notice.
For them, the time of uncertainty continues for the time being, because so far the responsible politicians have not commented on a possible loosening in this area.
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