Gold Coast Gambling Guide

Sometimes referred to as the Las Vegas of Queensland, the Glitter Strip that is the Gold Coast bears many similarities to the popular homeland of gambling.

The Gold Coast is often described as a hedonists playground with the focus being on pleasure and entertainment. Not only is the area home to many pubs, clubs, bars and brothels but there are also plenty of ways to place a bet. The area is home to a large casino and plenty of social clubs, pubs that offer TAB and a great race course in the middle of Surfer’s Paradise.

In this guide, we take a look at what the Glitter Strip has to offer when it comes to gambling in this area of Queensland.


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Gambling Laws on the Gold Coast

Gambling in Queensland is entirely legal as long as you are over the age of 18 and use a licensed bookmaker, device, portal or venue to place your wager.

Gambling is regulated by the Office of Liquor and Gaming who enforce federal government and state legislation.

gambling Gold Coast Turf Club

Horse racing in the Gold Coast comes courtesy of just one track but the Turf Club attracts some big events. Image via Gold Coast Turf Club.

Gambling Scene on the Gold Coast

The average spend on Gambling in Queensland generally is lower than the national average by around 16.5%. The average Queenslander spends around $1,032 per year on wagering, on race or sports betting, the pokies, the lottery, bingo/keno or at the casino.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the statistics for spending on the Gold Coast is a lot higher than the state average. As an area known as pleasure island, visiting punters and tourists are all drawn to the glitz of the casino and take their chances on the pokies. In September 2017, the Gold Coasts recorded a new record with punters losing $30 million on the electronic gaming machines. Queenslanders spend more than the average Australian on the pokies with the Glitter Strip offering plenty of places and ways to play (see below).

Casino spending and race and sports betting aren’t as popular in the Gold Coast (or in Queensland) as they are across the rest of the country. Spending on Keno is a fifth of the national average.

Casinos

Queensland has a couple of casinos but, in line with federal guidelines, the major cities in each state have just a single casino license. The Gold Coast has had a casino since the mid-1980s, the Star, but there are plans for a second casino in the area. The proposals made by Crown Resorts run to a $2 billion development which would integrate a casino and leisure complex situated on an existing 5 hectare site adjacent to Philip Park overlooking the Coral Sea. Though the state government blocked this proposal in July 2017 the plans remain a possibility.

The Star Gold Coast Casino

1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach Island, Gold Coast, 4218

www.star.com.au/goldcoast

star casino gold coast gambling

The Star Casino occupies some prime real estate on Broadbeach Waters right in the middle of the Gold Coast resort. Image via website.

The first casino to open in Queensland, and originally called the Jupiter Casino, Star Gold Coast was originally opened in 1986.

The casino was refurbished in 2006 and $53 million was spent to expand the two gaming floors into one giant dedicated area. The casino has over 1600 pokies, 70 tables and a range of dedicated private lounges and rooms for poker.

Work commenced in 2017 to further expand both the casino and the hotel complex.

The Star is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Race Courses

Race betting in Queensland accounts for 9% of the state’s gambling expenditure and is a popular way for punters to wager. A great spectator sport, the Gold Coast has a few horse and dog tracks where you can attend events to catch the action.

Horses

The principle horse racing track is the Gold Coast Turf Club which hosts the areas main events. For further regular racing, Brisbane is an hour’s drive to the north. You can find full details of the courses around Brizzy by reading our guide to Gambling in Brisbane.

Gold Coast Turf Club

Racecourse Dr, Bundall QLD 4217

www.gctc.com.au

The course was opened at its current location in 1946 though the club itself has been holding regular meetings since the 1890s.

Situated in the heart of Surfers Paradise, the course holds races every Saturday as well as event racing. The feature events for the club is the Newmarket Gold Coast Cup (held on the last Thursday of September) and the Magic Millions Race Day (January). The latter is a big event on the Gold Coast and attracts large crowds over a ten-day carnival of racing. In 2016, the Magic Millions race itself broke records with a $10 million prize pool.

horse racing gold coast gambling magic millions raceday

The Magic Millions Raceday attracts tens of thousands of spectators. Image via magicmillions.com.au

The course has a great range of hospitality facilities including two bars, coffee shop, lounge and restaurants. There is usually full TAB coverage with on-site bookmakers at all events.

As part of a $200 million investment plan for both horse and greyhound racing (see below), Racing Queensland announced plans to introduce evening racing at the Gold Coast Turf Club. A state-of-the art lighting system is proposed to be installed in 2018.

Dogs

There are no greyhound racing tracks on the Gold Coast after the closure of Gold Coast Parklands. The site had been home to both the Gold Coast Greyhound Racing Club the Gold Coast Harness Racing Club. The Greyhound club still operates but is currently ‘homeless’; plans to find a permanent venue for both clubs close to the Glitter Strip in the Gold Coast are being explored by Racing Queensland.

In the meantime, there are several places to catch live dog racing nearer to Brisbane. You can find out more by reading our guide to gambling in Brisbane.

Lotteries & Kenos

Spending on the lottery on the Gold Coast is slightly higher (as a proportion of total expenditure) than the national average with the majority of players choosing the National Australian Lottery (The Lott) run by The Tatts Group.

Tickets for the daily draws offer some big prizes including multi-million dollar cash jackpots or the popular ‘Set for Life’ draw; winners receive $20k a month for 20 years.

You can play The Lott online or by purchasing a ticket from official retailers. Most retailers also stock instant win lottery scratch cards. These are also very popular in the Gold Coast with residents and visitors spending twice as much on scratch cards.

Keno

Though spending on Keno is small compared to other forms of gambling in the Gold Coast, it remains a popular way to wager.

keno gold coast

There are dozens of venues to play Keno on the Gold Coast. Image via Keno (Official Website).

The casino offers Keno terminals but there are also some pubs and clubs where you can play Keno, our pick of these are as follows:

  • All Sports & Community Club – 1 Leagues Club Drive, Nerang, 4211
  • Anglers Arms Hotel – 50 Queen St, Southport, 4215
  • Ashmore Tavern – Cnr Currumburra Road & Cotlew Street, Ashmore, 4214
  • Benowa Bowls Club – Sir Bruce Small Reserve Ashmore Rd Benowa 4217
  • Benowa Tavern – 117 Ashmore Road, Benowa, 4217
  • Broadbeach Bowls Club – 169 Surf Parade, Broadbeach, 4218
  • Broadbeach Tavern – Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach, 4218
  • Burleigh Heads Rugby League Football Club – 80 Pacific Avenue, Miami, 4220
  • Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise – 2807 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise, 4217
  • CSi Club Southport – 154A Scarborough Street, Southport, 4215
  • Del Plaza Hotel – 146 Scarborough Street, Southport, 4215
  • Emerald Lakes Golf Club – 3 Alabaster Drive, Carrara, 4211
  • Ferry Road Tavern – Cnr Cotlew St & Ferry Rd, Bundall, 4217
  • Fisherman’s Wharf Tavern – 60-70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach, 4217
  • Gold Coast Burleigh Golf Club – Cnr Hillcrest Parade & Bardon Avenue, Miami, 4220
  • Hinterland Hotel Motel – 53 Station St, Nerang, 4211
  • Hotel Pacific – Fair Marine Parade, Southport, 4215
  • Kurrawa Surf Club – Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach, 4218
  • Lansdowne Road Tavern – 3420 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise, 4217
  • Lone Star Tavern – Cnr 97 Markeri Street & Sunshine Boulevard, Mermaid Waters, 4218
  • Melba’s On The Park – 46 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise, 4217
  • Mermaid Beach Bowls Club Inc – 9 Markeri Street, Mermaid Beach, 4218
  • Mermaid Beach Surf Life Saving Club – 172 Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach, 4218
  • Mermaid Beach Tavern – 2500 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach, 4218
  • Musgrave Hill Bowls Club – Cnr Musgrave & Kumbari Avenues, Southport, 4215
  • Nerang Community Bowls Club Inc – Cayuga Street, Nerang, 4211
  • Nerang RSL and Memorial Club Inc – 69 Nerang Street, Nerang, 4211
  • One 50 Public House – 150 Bundall Road, Bundall, 4217
  • Robina Tavern – Commerce Drive, Robina, 4226
  • Sofitel Gold Coast – 81 Surf Parade, Broadbeach, 4218
  • Southport n Rules Football Club – Musgrave Avenue, Southport, 4215
  • Southport Workers Community Club Inc – 154A Scarborough Street, Southport, 4215
  • Surfers Paradise Golf Club – 1 Fairway Drive, Clear Island Waters, 4226
  • Surfers Paradise RSL Club Inc – 9 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise, 4217
  • Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club – Beachside,The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, 4217
  • The Surf Club Nobby’s Beach – Cnr Albatross Ave & Lavarack Road, Nobby’s Beach, 4218
  • Varsity Lakes Tavern – 2 Santa Maria Court, Burleigh Waters, 4220
  • Walrus Social House – 3032 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise, 4217
  • Waxy’s Irish Pub – 3206 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise, 4217

Poker

The Star Casino (see above) holds poker games every day from 12.00pm with high roller and VIP gaming also available. Games are No Cash Limit Texas Hold’em and generally take the following form:

BLINDS MINIMUM BUY-IN MAXIMUM BUY-IN
$2 – $3 $100​ ​$300
​$5 – $5 $200 $500
$5 – $10 $500 $2,000​

Poker Leagues

poker leagues gold coast

Several leagues run regular games in the Gold Coast. Image via Flickr.

There are poker events played across Queensland with the Gold Coast having plenty of leagues to choose from. The most popular leagues are Australian Poker League (APL), Deep Stack Poker (DSP), World Poker Tour League (WPT), Australian Pro Poker (APP), 888 Poker League (888 PL) and the National Poker League (NPL).

Monday

League Venue District Start Time Buy In
APP Surfers RSL Club Surfers Paradise 7.00pm Free
WPT Surfers Beer Garden Surfers Paradise 6.00pm Free
APL Sofitel Broadbeach 7.00pm Free
888 PL Southport Workers Southport 11.00am Free
DSP Central Park Tavern Ashmore 7.00pm Free
NPL Mermaid Beach Bowls Club Mermaid Beach 6.30pm Free
WPT Wallaby Hotel Mudgeeraba 6.30pm Free

 

Tuesday

League Venue District Start Time Buy In
APL Sofitel Broadbeach 7.00pm Free
888 PL Mermaid Beach Tavern Mermaid Beach 12.00pm Free
888 PL Mermaid Beach Tavern Mermaid Beach 7.30pm Free
WPT Nerang Community Bowls Club Nerang 6.30pm Free
APP Labrador Tigers Club Labrador 1.00pm Free
APP Labrador Tigers Club Labrador 7.00pm Free

 

Wednesday

League Venue District Start Time Buy In
888 PL The Beach Hotel Broadbeach 12.00pm Free
APP Southport Leagues Club Southport 1.00pm Free
888 PL Southport Workers Southport 7.00pm Free
WPT Robina Tavern Robina 7.00pm Free
APL The Grand Hotel Labrador 7.00pm Free

 

Thursday

League Venue District Start Time Buy In
APP Surfers RSL Club Surfers Paradise 7.00pm Free
APL Broadbeach Bowls Club Broadbeach 7.00pm Free
888 PL Mermaid Beach Tavern Mermaid Beach 12.00pm Free
WPT All Sports Community Club Nerang 1.00pm Free
WPT All Sports Community Club Nerang 6.30pm Free
APP Labrador Tigers Club Labrador 7.00pm Free

 

Friday

League Venue District Start Time Buy In
APL Broadbeach Bowls Club Broadbeach 8.00pm Free

 

Saturday

League Venue District Start Time Buy In
888 PL Melbas on the Park Surfers Paradise 3.00pm Free
APL Broadbeach Bowls Club Broadbeach 1.00pm Free
APP Southport Leagues Club Soutport 1.00pm Free
DSP Central Park Tavern Ashmore 7.00pm Free

 

Sunday

League Venue District Start Time Buy In
888 PL Melbas on the Park Surfers Paradise 4.30pm Free
WPT Nerang Community Bowls Club Nerang 5.00pm Free

 

Bingo

Bingo is relatively popular with locals with several social clubs holding regular bingo events. Though there are no dedicated bingo venues, here are the best places to catch regular games with some good cash prizes:

Burleigh Bears

80 Pacific Avenue

www.burleighbears.com.au

Bingo is held on Monday and Friday mornings at 9.30am

Currumbin Pal Beach RSL

Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin

www.currumbinrsl.com.au  

You can catch bingo during the day or on a Tuesday evening at Currumbin Pal Beach RSL Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 11.00am or Tuesday at 7.00pm.

Musgrave Hills Bowl Club

104 Musgrave Ave, Chirn Park

www.musgravebowls.com 

Bingo events are fun five days a week; Monday & Sunday at 7.00pm and Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 7.30pm.

Nerang RSL

69 Nerang Street, Nerang

www.nerangrsl.com

Bingo is held on Monday and Tuesday nights at 7.00pm or 10.00am on Friday mornings.

RSL Club Southport

36 Scarborough St, Southport

www.rslclubsouthport.com.au

The RSL Club Southport is a popular place for Bingo in the Gold Coast and they run events daily:

  • Monday to Saturday at 11.00am
  • Sunday at 6.30pm
  • Additional games on Tuesday and Thursday at 7.00pm
bingo gold coast

The RSL Club in Southport has daily jackpots and is one of the more popular bingo venues in the Gold Coast. Image via website.

Southport Sharks

Cnr Musgrave & Olsen Aves, Southport QLD 4215

www.southportsharks.com.au

You can catch a game at the Sharks on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday mornings at 9.30am.

Tweed Heads Bowls Club

Wharf Street, Tweed Heads

www.thbc.com.au 

The club holds two games on Monday and Wednesday at 11.00am and 7.00pm.

Twin Towns

Wharf Street, Tweed Heads

www.twintowns.com.au

Twin Towns holds bingo games at 10.15am every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Electronic Gaming Machines (‘Pokies’/Slots)

Slot machines represents the principle means of gambling for the Gold Coast community and is a popular activity for Queenslanders in general.

Out of almost 47,000 EGMs in Queensland, the Gold Coast has almost 6000 licensed pokies with most being situated in taverns, hotels and social clubs.

pokies gold coast

The Star Casino has private pokie rooms available. Image via Star Casino Gold Coast.

The Star Gold Coast Casino has a huge selection of pokies but we’ve selected the top twenty venues where you can find over 50 EGMs on site:

Venue Area EGM
Southport Australian Rules Football Club Southport 300
Club Southport Southport 265
Burleigh Heads Rugby League Football Club Miami 220
Club Helensvale Helensvale 220
Currumbin Palm Beach R.S.L. & Services Memorial Club Currumbin 199
Nerang Rsl & Memorial Club Nerang 188
Southport R.S.L. Memorial Club Southport – North 180
Burleigh Community Club Burleigh Heads 110
Musgrave Hill Bowls Club Southport 100
Kurrawa S.L.S.C. Supporters Association Mermaid Beach 80
Paradise Point Bowls Club Paradise Point 72
Runaway Bay Junior Leagues Club Runaway Bay 70
Surfers R.S.L Surfers Paradise 70
Burleigh Sports Club Burleigh Waters 60
Tallebudgera Surf Lifesaving Supporters Association Palm Beach 59
Northcliffe Surf Life Saving Supporters Association Surfers Paradise 58
Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Supporters Club Coolangatta 57
Labrador Afl Sports Club Labrador 50
Palm Beach (Qld) Surf Life Saving Club Supporters Club Palm Beach 50
Broadbeach Bowls & Community Club Mermaid Beach 50

 

Social Clubs, Sports Bars and Hotels

The Gold Coast is renowned for its pub scene and there are plenty of bars and taverns which have great coverage of sporting events combined with TAB facilities. In addition, you can find sporting lounges at a range of hotels and social clubs.

Our top picks for places to get a drink, watch the game and lay some bets are:

  • Anglers Arms
  • Arundel Tavern
  • Ashmore Tavern
  • Boardwalk Tavern (The)
  • Boathouse Tavern
  • Broadbeach Bowls & Community Club Inc Sst
  • Broadbeach Cats
  • Broadbeach Tavern (The)
  • Burleigh Heads Hotel
  • Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park Slsc Supporters Club
  • Burleigh Heads Rugby League Football Club
  • Burleigh Sports Club
  • Burleigh Town Tavern
  • Cecil Hotel
  • Central Park Tavern
  • Club Burleigh
  • Club Helensvale
  • Coolangatta Sands
  • Coomera Lodge Hotel
  • Coomera Tavern
  • Cove Tavern @ Sanctuary Cove
  • Csi (Club Southport)
  • Currumbin Creek Tavern
  • Currumbin Palm Beach Rsl Club
  • Diamonds Bar & Gaming
  • Dog & Parrot Tavern
  • Ferry Road Tavern
  • Gold Coast Bowls & Community Club
  • Grand Hotel – Labrador
  • Helensvale Tavern
  • Hope Island Tavern
  • Hotel Cbd Varsity Lakes
  • Hotel Coolangatta
  • Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast
  • Kirra Beach Hotel
  • Labrador Afl Sports Club Sst
  • Lone Star Tavern
  • Mermaid Beach Bowls Club
  • Mermaid Beach Slsc Assoc Inc Sst
  • Mermaid Beach Tavern
  • Merrimac Tavern
  • Miami Hotel
  • Musgrave Hills Bowls Club Sst
  • Nobbys Beach Slsc
  • North Burleigh Slsc Inc Sst
  • North Kirra S.L.S.C. (Lite)
  • Options Tavern
  • Oxenford Tavern
  • Palm Beach Currumbin Rugby Club Sst
  • Palm Beach Currumbin Sports Club
  • Palm Beach Hotel
  • Parkwood International Sst
  • Parkwood Tavern
  • Rainbow Bay Slsc
  • Robina Tavern
  • Saltwater Creek Hotel
  • Southport Aussie Rules Football Club
  • Southport Rsl Memorial Club Inc
  • Surfers Paradise Golf Club (Lite)
  • Tallebudgera Surf Lifesaving Supporters Association
  • The Burleigh Cove Tavern
  • The Envy Hotel
  • The Railway Hotel
  • The Wattle Hotel & Sst (Lost City Tavern)
  • Treetops Tavern
  • Tugun Rugby League Football Club Sst
  • Tugun Surf Life Saving Supporters Assoc.
  • Tweed Heads & Coolangatta S.L.S Supporters Association Inc
  • Varsity Lakes Tavern

Featured image via Pixabay.