It emerged today that the 2021 Australian Poker Millions have been postponed indefinitely. Australia’s most prestigious poker event has been scrapped due to the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
In a statement via their website, Crown Casino Melbourne confirmed that the safety concerns for staff and players meant the tournament could not proceed as scheduled. In a recent announcement to the media, Crown CEO Ken Barton pledged to work with authorities to ensure the safety of staff and players:
“We have been working for some time with the Victorian Government and health authorities to determine how we can safely re-open Crown Melbourne and have developed extensive physical distancing and hygiene measures to allow re-opening in a safe manner. We are pleased to be able to commence the process of welcoming back our employees and customers to Crown Melbourne.”
There has been no further confirmation from Crown on whether the Aussie Millions will return in 2022. Its been a tough year for poker players in Australia, with all four of the major poker tournaments on the calendar cancelled, due to the pandemic.
Melbourne has only recently begun to emerge from a six-week bio-security lockdown across the city. Tight social distancing regulations have meant that public gatherings have been non-existent.
The announcement is a bitter blow for Crown, whose Sydney casino continues to come under heavy scrutiny from NSW government authorities over questionable business practices.
Earlier this year Crown was forced to cancel the annual Crown Poker Championship to be held in Melbourne.
In Sydney, the Australian Poker Tour’s APT Sydney Series and the Marconi Cup Carnival held at the Poker Palace were also scrapped. Star City Casino also imposed further social distancing restrictions, cancelling satellite tournaments for the Sydney Championships.
Australian state and federal governments have imposed some of the toughest social distancing restrictions in the world. Its highly unlikely we will see international players return to Australia in the early part of 2021 with international border closures still being enforced.