Australian Stock Exchange-listed company Aquis Entertainment reopened its Casino Canberra on Monday the 10th of August after shutting up shop on the 23rd of March 2020, almost five months ago.

The organisation stood down roughly 90% of its workforce of 200+ people, after casinos were forced to close as the country worked at containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential staff were retained in a massively reduced capacity to maintain the locale, ensuring it remained secure and that payroll processing was uninterrupted.

Aquis Entertainment also let it be known that its administrative team had agreed to a provisional reduction in their salaries, of 48%, and Allison Gallaugher, Chief Executive Officer, slashed her income in half. Instead of her usual AU$300 000 a month she collected AU$150 000. Speaking about the enforced measures, Gallaugher said that she understood how hard her employees would be hit by these proceedings and that she and her executives would be doing their utmost to see the company weather this storm. She promised to rebuild the brand for her team and the casino’s patrons, and it looks like she’s kept her word. 

Restrictions Eased in Australian Capital

The company is under the care of Tony Fung, a private investment banker, financier, and underwriter of 40+ years’ experience. Fung announced the reopening on Friday the 7th of August. He explained that the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the Australian Capital Territory is why this move is possible but certain limitations will still have to be implemented. This includes patrons consuming alcohol being seated, no more than 100 people being inside the various defined areas, excluding staff members, and social distancing rules being followed that see 1 person per every 4m2.

Most staff members on stand down have been recalled to a capacity of between 50% and 100%. Work roles and general availability are to be taken into account regarding this.

Fung praised Gallaugher and her cadre for their hard work during the shutdown and the venue is now hoping to resume business in the ‘new normal’.