Last year, the New South Wales government imposed new lockout laws that stop nightclubs and bars in Sydney’s downtown area from letting in patrons after 1:30am. The only venue to escape the lockout was The Star Casino, and omission has been criticised by many members of the community.
Since the lockout laws were introduced, many venues across the city have suffered. Local bars, night clubs and music venues have seen a decline in profits, and some are even in danger of being shut down.
Recently, protestors have been campaigning to ‘Reclaim the Streets’ to get the local government to end the lockouts. They have targeted The Star Casino, as protestors have taken their demonstrations to the venue.
Many individuals who are in opposition to the casino being left out of the lockout believe that it was excluded due to ties with the government. Between 1998 and 2011, The Star donated millions of dollars to various political parties in the NSW Government. So, there are concerns that there is a hidden agenda behind this decision.
However, the casino operators believe that the lockout laws should be upheld and that The Star should remain excluded because the venue does not contribute alcohol-related violence in the city. While many revellers do end up visiting the casino when they are locked out of other bars in the city, there has still been a significant decrease in crime rates.
As such, the government is reluctant to change its lockout laws. However, there will be a review of the regulation in August and there may be a slight possibility of the casino being added to the lockout or the radius of the lockout being reduced.