Star Entertainment Group has announced new COVID-19 safety measures at its flagship casino The Star Sydney that will see access prioritised for high-value patrons and the main gaming floor separated into distinct zones to adhere with new restrictions introduced by the New South Wales state government.
The restrictions are a reaction to recent outbreaks of the virus in NSW, which has seen around 82 new cases over the past week.
Having only reopened its main gaming floor to a maximum of 5000 patrons on July 1, Star announced via an ASX filling that under the latest guidelines of the NSW public health order, each separate area within the casino is now subject to a maximum of 300 patrons, none of whom are allowed to mingle and are subject to a minimum four square meters of space per person.
“The Star is implementing operating procedures which comply with the new restrictions, including the delineation of several separate areas utilizing the over 20,000 square meter casino floor area across The Star Sydney,” the company said.
“The restrictions mean that The Star Sydney will focus on prioritizing visitation by its highest value patrons.”
Staffing levels will also be adjusted to address the new requirements.
Stats Perform to exclusively distribute Australian Open video and data rights in extensive new partnership with Tennis Australia to make every game, set and match mean more
Stats Perform will be the exclusive distributor of live video streaming and ultrafast data to licensed sports betting operators for Tennis Australia, including cutting-edge new features to make every game, set and match mean more.
The multi-year agreement sees Stats Perform add the Australian Open, Australian Open Qualifying and other TA tournaments to its wide portfolio of premium live betting streams and trading data.
Tennis Australia will use Stats Perform’s media tools including Opta Facts, PressBox Graphics and extensive news services to build bigger audiences for Tennis Australia and Australian tennis players as they compete on year-round global tours.
Stats Perform’s Integrity division will also join forces with TA’s in-house Integrity Unit to monitor all matches for potential match manipulation.
This will include Stats Perform Integrity’s core services on competition and match integrity risk management, namely pre-tournament risk assessments as well as monitoring, intelligence and analysis of the global markets along with performance analysis and investigation of any instances of suspected match manipulation.
The deep integrity support will also provide access to investigative services incorporating digital forensics and due diligence to ensure a robust approach to managing risk around tennis played in Australia.
Cedric Conelis, Tennis Australia Chief Revenue Officer, commented, “Stats Perform has a reputation for trust and innovation, making them a clear choice and providing more opportunities for us to reach and engage with our fans.”
Carl Mergele, CEO, Stats Perform, added, “Our focus is on extending the incredible entertainment on the court or field, to help those in the sports business capture more fan attention, for longer. We are honoured to have been chosen to work with Tennis Australia – an organisation which shares our goal of protecting and elevating the fan experience, for new and existing tennis audiences across the globe.”
The deal is the latest addition to Stats Perform’s growing portfolio of tennis rights, which includes the WTA Tour, Wimbledon, ITF Davis Cup World Group and the Billie Jean Cup.
The announcement comes shortly after Stats Perform claimed Best Sports Data Provider for Opta and RunningBall, and Best Mobile Innovation, for Instant Highlights and Smart Stats Overlays™, at the SBC Awards.
NSW to Reform Casino Tax Rates
Casino tax arrangements will be reformed by the NSW Government to help fund vital services.
The proposed increases are anticipated to commence on 1 July 2023 and include tax rates on what the casinos earn from gaming tables and poker machines. They are forecast to raise an additional $364 million over the next three years.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the changes will support the State’s fiscal sustainability as it continues to invest in communities recovering from the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19, bushfires and floods.
“It’s important that casinos pay their fair share of tax. These reformed tax rates will replace the existing regime under which casinos pay less tax on poker machines than hotels and clubs,” Mr Kean said.
“These changes will ensure that the casinos continue to make an appropriate contribution to the community and support the delivery of vital Government services.”
Mr Kean said casinos provide employment and entertainment for thousands of people across the State and these changes will support their ongoing contribution to the NSW economy.
The updated poker machine rate will bring NSW into line with Victoria, following recent reforms to casino taxation arrangements announced in the 2022-23 Victorian Budget.
The NSW Government, through the Responsible Gambling Fund, is spending $33 million in 2022-23 to support people experiencing gambling harm, educating the community on the risks of gambling and investing in research to better understand gambling behaviour. The 2022-23 NSW Budget committed to allocating an additional $5 million per year to the Responsible Gambling Fund, increasing in line with inflation.
ACMA Blocks Two Illegal Offshore Gambling Websites
The ACMA has requested the Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block two illegal offshore gambling websites, after investigations found that those two websites are operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
The latest sites blocked include Pokizino and ABA Lucky 33.
Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 652 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked.
Over 180 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.
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