Australians sure love their pokies, and some of the best places to enjoy these reel-spinning games is at the most memorable and well-known casinos Down Under. Some of these places have existed for several decades, while others are married into resorts and hotel complexes. All the same, its a place where the folks of Oz bring their gambling game.
The first legal Australian casino
Australia’s first fully legal gambling establishment was the Wrest Point Hotel, in 1939, and is located in Hobart, Tasmania. Originally placed at the site of the Wrest Point Riviera Hotel, the casino opened its doors in the 1960s, after the hotel itself was bought by the Federal Hotels group in 1956. What makes this casino such a legendary place is because of the impact it had on Tasmanian economy. Some other interesting points include:
- The original hotel building was built by Arthur Drydale in 1939.
- John Haddad, a member of the Federal Hotels group, obtained the licence to open an operate a casino in the hotel complex in the 60s.
- The hotel tower is 17 storeys tall – still the tallest structure in the city of Hobart – and contains a revolving restaurant which was designed by architect Sir Roy Grounds.
- When the full casino complex opened in 1973, it kick-started the island’s casino industry, with 12 other land-based casinos opening in the decades to follow.
- State tourism and industry achieved a massive economic boom after Wrest Point Hotel Casino opened, which was exactly what management expected to happen.
- A conference centre was opened in 1984, and a boardwalk in 1996.
Crown Casino and Entertainment
This enormous casino complex was opened in 1997, and sits on the south-side Yarra riverbank, in Melbourne. One of the key facts about this massive gambling complex is its size; it is about 2 city block big, making it the biggest casino in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the largest land-based casinos in the world.
- The Australian actress Rachel Griffiths ran topless through the casino on its opening night.
- The casino complex has a gaming license for 350 table games and 2,500 poker machines.
- Rapid roulette is an electronic land-based version of roulette, and was first launched at Crown Casino.
- The Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex has a casino loyalty programme called the Signature Club.
- There are three major hotels as well as an abundance of spectacular water features throughout the complex.
Burswood Entertainment Complex
This online casino complex is the only one of its kind in Western Australia, and was opened in the city of Perth on 4 October 1987. In addition to once being located at the site of a particularly large landfill, the casino complex also had initial issues with opening, which was delayed by 85 days. Despite this, it was expanded several times since its opening.
- Contains the Burswood Dome, which is the largest auditorium space in the Southern Hemisphere.
- The complex has a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week casino, as well as seven restaurants, two international-class hotels, eight bars, a theatre and seven restaurants.
- The casino is licensed to operate 1,500 coin-type games, including keno and video poker.
- Table games at the casino include baccarat, blackjack and roulette.