ClubsNSW to Reopen Pokies Venues on Monday
If you live in New South Wales, we have some good news for you. Starting on Monday, some ClubsNSW venues will begin reopening. Based on rules set forth by ClubsNSW, some of these venues will be able to host up to 500 patrons.
This means NSW players will be able to play live pokies once again, as long as you adhere to the rules laid forth by the venue.
ClubsNSW to Start Reopening on Monday
On Monday, multiple ClubsNSW locations will begin reopening. These will be the first venues to offer live pokies since all casinos and pokie clubs were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ClubsNSW members were notified of this on Wednesday in a memo from CEO Josh Landis. He stated that the club was able to gain approval for reopening after impressing the NSW Chief Health Officer.
This announcement came after the NSW State Government announced that businesses would be permitted to reopen provided that they adhere to a limit of 50 people. However, there is a loophole that businesses can use to increase patronage.
From Monday you will be able to visit a club in Queanbeyan for any service you like. Meal, drink or a punt. None of which is predicated on the consumption of food. @ABarrMLA @alistair_coe
— ClubsACT (@ClubsACT) May 28, 2020
Pubs and clubs with multiple restaurants or cafes can add an additional 50 people per dining area. This means that if a venue has a restaurant and a cafe, they could have up to 150. According to the memo sent around by ClubNSW, there was a cap of 500 people in businesses with multiple restaurants. However, ClubsNSW was able to negotiate to have that removed.
According to Landis, “the upper limit of 500 patrons in a venue has been removed. Instead, the upper limit will be determined by the number of ‘dining areas’ in the club, in conjunction with the 4 square metre rule.” As such, it appears that some venues will be able to accommodate up to 550 people.
Rules for ClubsNSW Venues
The memo sent to members also details how venues will operate to allow for additional patrons. For starters, it is recommended that venues use conference rooms for additional dining since this has been done in the past. Also, large rooms may be split by physical barriers, but that is not recommended.
Additionally, there are other measures that venues must take. They include:
- Limit patron movement from one area to another using ropes or barriers.
- Utilizing separate entry and exit points for additional venues.
- Instructing patrons not to move between areas over the PA.
- Utilizing CovidSAFE Marshalls to instruct patrons to stay in their areas.
- Display signs pointing patrons to the nearest restrooms so they don’t wander through the facilities.
- Plan how patrons will move from different locations and disperse groups as necessary.
What is interesting is that patrons will not be required to leave the club once kitchens or cafes close. This makes one wonder about how this will impact numbers. If a kitchen closes and the number of patrons left exceeds the 50 player cap, will the establishment be subject to any penalties?
NSW The First to Reopen Pokies
This announcement is good news for punters as players can now go back to playing live pokies in NSW. According to ClubsNSW, gaming rooms will be open with a 1.5 metre space between each pokie player. This will be accomplished by cutting off machines, removing chairs, or physically spacing out the machines.
The NSW reopening comes well ahead of projections. Earlier in the month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that gaming facilities may be reopening in July during Step 3 of his reopening plan. No other states have announced plans to reopen before July. In the meantime, NSW will have a monopoly on live pokies.
Of course, you can still play at online casinos in Australia. You are not limited to pokies but can also play casino games, live dealer games, Keno, and much more. While not the same as live gambling, it is a COVID safe alternative until the pandemic is over.
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