Australia is the 6th largest country on Earth and, as such, there is lots about the place which is ‘big’, including our casinos.
Most cities operate a single license policy with some states having just one casino. Queensland has the most with three casinos and two of them making our list of the five biggest in Australia.
In this guide, we take a look at the biggest and best casinos in the country and some of the stats behind why they are so popular.
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Melbourne Crown Casino
Melbourne’s aptly named Crown Casino takes the title of Australia’s biggest casino complex and, not content to stop there, is also the largest casino development in the Southern Hemisphere.
Situated on the Yarra River in the heart of Melbourne, the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex covers an impressive area of 510,000 sq. m. The development was finished in 1997 and features three luxury hotels, several bars, restaurants and nightclubs as well as an impressive selection of high-end retail outlets.
Shops include Harrods, Prada, Bvlgari, Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss with fine dining presented by British celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal and the Japanese restaurateur, Nobu Matsuhisa
The venue also has a 2200 seat capacity ballroom which plays host to some prestigious functions including the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix Ball and the TV Week Logie Awards.
It’s an impressive complex and proposed extensions to add a fourth tower will further increase the 1600+ room capacity. Indeed, the addition of ‘One Queensbridge’ will make the tower the tallest building in Australia at a staggering 90-storeys high.
When it comes to gaming, the Crown Casino also comes up trumps and offers some of the best table games around. As well as card, dice and wheel games, the casino also has a license for 2500 electronic gaming machines and 3500 poker machines.
Poker is the Crown’s biggest draw to the casino and the venue is the home to the Aussie Millions tournament; the richest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. They also host the WSOP Asia-Pacific tournament as well as other big events.
Poker is played in a specific gaming area situated in the basement of the Crown and the styles vary from the popular Texas Hold’em to Stud and Three Card Poker.
Traditional casino games are held across the casino with over 500 tables available including roulette, craps and blackjack. The addition of some modern favourites includes ‘Dice Duel’, ‘Nutz’ and S7reak. The Crown also has its own variations of traditional games including ‘Pontoon Pandemonium’, ‘Poker War’ and ‘Rapid Blackjack’.
Star Casino, Sydney
The Star Casino in Sydney is located right in the heart of Pyrmont and overlooks Darling Harbour. It is part of a large complex incorporating luxury hotel accommodation, gym and swimming pool, several bars, restaurants and nightclubs. There are also several high-end retail outlets situated in the same venue.
Open 24/7, the casino itself is split across two dedicated floors. The main general admission gaming floor (on level one) has three areas, each dedicated to a different aspect of gaming. The second floor (located on the level three) serves private and VIP gaming only.
The exclusive club features several high rollers lounges which regularly entertain international guests and junket players. However, there is also an ultra-elite lounge called the Vermillion Room which is open only to invited guests. It is rumoured that less than 100 people have ever played here and the stakes are only to be imagined at.
The main casino features table gaming, poker tables and an area for electronic gaming.
Table games are extensive and cover the majority of traditional casino games including roulette, blackjack, craps and Sic Bo as well as baccarat, Pai Gow and pontoon.
The Star Sydney plays host to the WSOP tournament and also holds its own weekly tournaments and big cash buy-in nights. Monday, Wednesday and Sunday offer the chance for guaranteed prize pools of $20,000, $30,000 and $50,000 respectively.
In total there are 40 poker tables playing a mix of Texas Hold’em, Caribbean and Mississippi Stud and Three Card Poker.
The casino holds a license to provide 1500 electronic gaming machines and there is currently a good mix of spinning reel, video poker and hyperlink games.
In addition, there is a sports bar on site showing major events on multi-screens which offers paperless TAB facilities. You can also play bingo and mah-jong in the in the Star Social Lounge.
The casino is owned by the Star Entertainment Group which is a division of OzLotto operators, Tabcorp.
Crown Casino, Perth
Formerly known as the Burswood Island Casino, the Crown Casino in Perth is a mega entertainment complex. Current facilities include three hotels, convention centre, two ballrooms, nightclub, theatre and 32 restaurant and bars. There are various recreation facilities to keep guests occupied when they are not exploring Perth or gambling in the casino including a huge spa.
The complex is undergoing a huge expansion plan to incorporate a six-star luxury hotel, increased gaming facilities and additional leisure venues. Work has commenced and is due to add a whopping 1.1 million sq ft to the size of the complex.
The development will also increase the number of gaming tables from the existing 220 to 350.
The casino is the monopoly license holder for all electronic gaming machines in Perth which makes it a go-to venue for most regular punters. They currently hold a license for more than 2000 EGMs.
Table games are also popular and much like its sister venue at Melbourne there is a range of traditional games as well as in-house variants and new games.
There are only 12 poker tables but there is private gaming available in the Pearl Room or Riverside Room. There is also a private baccarat room.
The bars surrounding the casino do a good job at keeping guests entertained and there is a good programme of live entertainment throughout most weeks. The sports bar is also a great pit-stop and features Australia’s largest sports bar screens helping to earn the venue the title ‘Best Sporting Entertainment Venue 2016’ at the Australian Hotels Association National Awards for Excellence.
Star Casino, Gold Coast
Queensland’s first casino, the Star was originally named Jupiter’s until it was taken over by the Star Entertainment Group. Since it first opened in 1986, the premises has undergone many refurbishments, developments and expansion. The latest of these projects is currently underway with a new 17 storey tower planned to house a larger casino.
Covering seven acres, the complex is a big one that incorporates leisure and entertainment facilities including theatre, gym and health spa as well as a theatre. There are also numerous bars and restaurants plus retail outlets.
The hotel has almost 600 rooms which were renovated in 2006 and is a popular place for leisure and business tourists. The latter enjoy conferencing facilities as well as large events hosted in the ballroom. The theatre itself hosts a variety of big stage acts which also attracts visitors to the complex. Recent international acts of note include Stomp, Dance of Desire and ABBA Revival.
A single gaming floor replaced the original two floors in 2006 with the latest development expected to further increase the capacity of the casino.
Open 24/7, the Star Casino Gold Coast is licensed for 1600 electronic gaming machines including pokies, slots and hyperlink type games.
Table games are extensive and include all of the classics such as baccarat, big wheel, blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, roulette and craps.
Fans of standard casino far will appreciate the addition of Pai Gow and Sic Bo to the offerings.
Poker is a big favourite for regulars and visiting guests and the Star hosts daily cash No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker games. The play starts at 12.00pm with minimum buy-ins of $100/$200/$500 and blinds of $2-$10.
Higher limits, VIP and private gaming are also available.
Of the many bars available on site, the Sports Bar has 10 screens plus the mega 162” x 92” widescreen TV showing a selection of racing and sporting events. There are TAB facilities available.
Treasury Casino, Brisbane
The Treasury Casino in Brisbane might only appear on this list for a few more years before it overtakes some of the others.
Currently situated in the historic (and listed) building of the former Treasury building on King William Street, the casino is due to be replaced in 2022 by a purpose-built complex to be known as Queen’s Wharf. Expected to be home to five luxury hotels and a host of entertainment venues including nightclubs, bars, restaurants and a theatre, the size of the new casino is yet to be finalised. However, it is expected to be much more sizeable than its existing home at the Treasury.
Until then, the current Treasury casino will have to meet Brisbane’s appetite for gaming which is does quite well.
The venue is split into two buildings with the former Lands Administration building comprising the hotel accommodation the Treasury building itself forming the leisure complex.
There is a gym and sauna, five restaurants, four bars and a coffee house. Two of the bars provide liver coverage of sport and race fixtures as well as offering TAB facilities.
The casino is spread across three floors, each providing a different combination of gaming opportunities. As well as general admission there are also private game rooms and VIP suites available.
Poker is provided via table play with standard games offered including Texas Hold’em, Three Card Poker and Stud (Mississippi and Caribbean). Some tournaments and events are run but these are more sporadic than at other venues.
A further 80 tables provide traditional casino gaming such as craps, roulette and blackjack. A ‘mini’ form of baccarat is played here as well as Sic Bo and Pontoon.
Electronic gaming is available via 1600 machines with the usual mix of pokies and spin reel slots.
The casino at The Treasury is open 24/7 though some table games cease operation in the early hours depending on demand.
The Treasury is another casino which is owned by the Star Entertainment Group.
Featured image via Pixabay.