- »Victoria Online Casino Action Surges with New Covid Cases
Victoria Online Casino Action Surges with New Covid Cases
Australians began to feel that they were out of the Covid-infected woods. As they turned the calendar from June to July, most people felt as if their quarantines worked and the worst of the pandemic passed through Australia.
Sadly, many Aussies are worried again as new cases are now popping up in Victoria at an alarming rate. It is no surprise that online gaming operators are also signaling another rise in new customers and returning business, as players again take to the online pokies in this unprecedented year.
Why the Covid Surge?
Australia reported its first four confirmed cases of Covid-19 on January 25, 2020. The peak number of daily reported cases hit in the last week of March, but cases slowed from that point. The shutdowns of all nonessential businesses and quarantine of most Australians prevented further virus spread, and the numbers consistently dropped.
By the middle of May, the number of cases each day was minimal, and the Australian governments and health officials worked to slowly but steadily reopen society. Everything from restaurants to casinos unlocked their doors and welcomed patrons once again, though on a more limited and cautious basis than ever before.
The last week in June showed a rather serious uptick in new cases, but it wasn’t until the first week of July that it became clear that the trend was undoubtedly going in the wrong direction. In fact, there was a surge of new cases.
Previous to July, the overwhelming majority of Covid cases in Australia were in New South Wales, though Victoria and Queensland showed their fair share as well. The new surge, however, is concentrated almost exclusively in Victoria. Those top locations for new Victorian cases (in the last 30 days) are:
- Hume = 284
- Melbourne = 208
- Wyndham = 208
- Moonee Valley = 190
- Brimbank = 159
- Moreland = 109
As for the origin of the new cases, a few came from overseas, but the vast majority were designated as local spread, specifically family-to-family contact. Health and Human Services Victoria is investigating the last few days of cases to determine their origins.
The rise in Victoria is startling, as graphed by the Guardian.
Reversing Course with Heightened Restrictions
It was inevitable that Victorian officials would top the reopening plan. And, in fact, they reversed it.
On July 8, Victoria ordered all residents in the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell Shire to stay home, only to leave for necessary shopping, receiving or giving care, exercise, and study or work if unable to do it from home.
In addition, the NSW border is now closed to Victorians, and visitors must present a valid permit to enter New South Wales.
These restrictions could stay in place for weeks – even months – or as long as it takes to reduce the number of new cases back to a comfortable level.
Crown Melbourne Still Not Open
While casinos aren’t the primary concern for many people in Victoria at the moment, some do miss them. Crown Melbourne was preparing to reopen soon with high hopes, but the virus dashed much progress made thus far.
“In line with the Victorian government’s reintroduction of stage three restrictions, Crown Resorts wishes to advise all our guests that Crown Melbourne will be temporarily closed until further notice due to Covid-19.”
Gaming floors that originally closed on March 24 will remain closed.
Meanwhile, Crown Perth is continuing its opening process, including the main gaming floor and high-roller VIP areas. Of course, there are restrictions in place for physical distancing, sanitizing and cleaning protocols, and hygiene. In addition, though, all visitors will be subject to random temperature checks upon entry to the resort as a whole.
Victorians Again Turn to Online Casinos
People in Victoria have long been online gambling fans. They know that the convenience and fun available on any one of the top Aussie casinos are just some of the benefits of playing online.
When the pandemic shut down every casino, pub, club, and lottery outlet, though, more Victorians than ever logged on to play some online slots, try a few hands of blackjack, and even play a little online poker.
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation recently released some guidance for reducing gambling harm, including help available via virtual counseling. The VGRF specifically focused on encouraging prevention measures for at-risk groups of people, especially those with mental health issues, and supporting those with gambling addictions.
Victorians can log on to the Gamblers Help website or call 1800-959-858 to speak with someone.
Online casinos also offer guidance for players. They have trained representatives available to answer questions about gambling limits and addiction, and they provide ways to limit one’s own deposits made or time spent on the sites.