Australians love gambling. There is no other way to put it. They have been gambling since the inception of the island nation, mostly under the table. There’s lotteries, horse racing, and the true Australian love, pokies.
The first pokie hall opened in 1956 even though traditional casinos were not legalized until 1973. The first land-based casino opened in February of 1973.
Since the first casino opened its doors, the casinos in Australia have multiplied revenue, making Australia one of the top gaming destinations for locals and tourist alike.
Australians will always love pokies, but the country is seeing a boom in the more elite high roller table games. Let’s dive in and learn more about gambling in Australia.
What the Heck Is a Pokie Anyway?
I thought I would cover this word that we don’t really use in the United States very often. Contrary to the American definition, a pokie in Australia is not jail. The word comes from the phrase poker machine. Over time, the slang evolved into “pokie” as it’s been shortened.
Pokies are the highest revenue generators in the Australian gambling economy. The Aussies treat pokie like a religion. They have their local pokie halls that consist of just rows upon rows of what we call slot machines.
Australian casinos make around 60% of every dollar spent in the island nation. That is some serious money. Now that you know what pokie means, let’s proceed.
1 – Wrest Point Casino (Hobart, Tasmania)
The Wrest Point Casino is the oldest casino in the country. The casino resort calls the suburb of Sandy Bay, Tasmania, home. It is located on the Derwent River. The hotel has amazing views of the river from most rooms.
Originally constructed as the Wrest Point Rivera Hotel in 1939. The current casino location has stayed up with current times through its modern feel.
On the 20,000-square-foot casino floor, you’ll find over 700 pokies and several gaming tables. The casino hosts blackjack and poker tournaments, as well as the famed Australian Dealer Championships.
Wrest Point Casino offers an array of social events, upscale hotel rooms, a conference center, and multiple dining options. The casino resort does have a dress code. If you’re looking to come in from their pool area to play a hand of blackjack, you will be sorely disappointed. No swim trunks or t-shirts are allowed on the casino floor.
2 – Country Club Tasmania (Launceston, Tasmania)
The Country Club Tasmania is located in Launceston, Tasmania. Launceston is one of Australia’s oldest cities. The casino opened in 1982. It is one of the larger casinos in Australia.
The casino has a unique layout. They put the gaming tables and the gaming machines (pokies) on sperate floors. If you’re a casual player or an experienced poker player, the Country Club Tasmania has something entertaining to offer you. They even have a special lounge and program for their VIP clients.
The exclusive location of the casino has superior views of the breath-taking scenery. The hotel resort has a golf course, boutique hotel and villas, excellent dinning options and live entertainments. There is something for everyone in your family.
3 – Crown Melbourne (Melbourne, Victoria)
The Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex originally opened in 1994 and relocated in 1997. The complex is a sprawling 500,00 square feet, making it a global contender with the largest casinos in the world.
The casino’s massive square footage and décor are reminiscent of the mega casinos found in Las Vegas. The Crown has three hotels, a staggering 25 restaurants two2 operated by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay) and over 10 bars. The complex offers a variety of live entertainment and nightclubs.
Crown Casino also has a luxury shopping center and spa. They even offer themed wedding packages to guests. This is the best casino in Australia for nightlife and non-gambling activities.
The casino resort brings in almost 11 million guests a year, more than the world-famous Sydney Opera House. The international gambling revenue is 800 million, making up a third of the casino’s total revenue.
Not ot mention, the casino highly values their VIP gamblers and offers a variety of promotions and vacation packages targeted toward this type of player.
4 – Crown Perth (Perth, Western Australia)
Located in the western part of Australia, the Crown Perth is located on the banks of the Swan River. The casino resort boasts a huge 94,750-square-foot casino floor. There is a poker room with 15 tables, two hotels, two huge concert halls, 30 restaurants and bars, and more spas than you can visit in one stay.
The casino floor hosts 2,500 Australian style pokies where you can win real money. Add the pokie selection to the large gaming area that includes roulette, baccarat, slot machines, and poker tables, and you’ve got a real diverse selection of gaming fun.
The casino complex was rebranded by famous Australian gambler Kerry Packer in 2011. The original name for the Crow Perth was the Burswood Island Casino for its original location in Burswood, Australia. The Crown Perth’s first location was just across the Swan River form Perth.
5 – Crown Sydney (Sydney, New South Wales)
The Crown Sydney is another property of the Crown Resorts owned and run by the Packers. The Crown Sydney is set to open as the second casino in the metropolitan city of Sydney. The grand opening is set for late 2020.
The press releases so far have made promises of the Crown Sydney being the most alluring casino destination in the world. They will run only with only VIP membership. The casino is described as having 75 floors and a finished height of 890 feet, which will make it the tallest building in Australia’s most populous city.
6 – Star Casino (Sydney, New South Wales)
The Star Casino is the second-largest gaming establishment in the country. The casino opened its doors in 1995. There is a VIP high-roller level as well as a gaming floor for regular players. The glamorous casino has been featured in a variety of Australian TV series and shows.
Star Casino brings in 9 million guests annually, all of which are drawn in by the world-class entertainment, top-rated dining establishments, spas, clubs and more.
The casino floor is huge at an astounding 100,00 square feet of gaming space. You can enjoy over 1,490 slot machines, 35 poker tables, and 140 various casino games.
7 – The Star Gold Coast (Broadbeach, Queensland)
This casino is a property under the Star brand and is located in Broadbeach on the famous Gold Coast. First opened in 1985, the casino has been remodeled three times in the last 20 years.
The Star Gold Coast is always growing and updating its appeal to players by adding new gaming areas as well as other activities off the casino floor. The Star Gold Coast is formerly known as Jupiters Hotel and Casino, which has been involved in multiple scandals in the past.
Since the casino resort has been taken over by the Star Brand, it has started to shed its former lurid past. There are hundreds of pokies and over 28 gaming tables, which attract almost 11 billion people annually. Besides the monstrous casino floor (it’s 65,000 square feet), the casino is famous for its theater that hosts both national and international entertainment.
8 – Lasseters Hotel and Casino (Alice Springs, Northern Territory)
Lasseters is the only gaming establishment in Alice Springs. It has over 100 pokies, a sports betting lounge, and 20 gaming tables. The casino even has a multilevel loyalty program. The highest classification in their loyalty program is the Diamond level, which gives member access to the Diamond lounge. These VIP players have access to an a private high-roller events and food and drinks on the house.
Outside of being a first-class gambling experience, the players enjoy a multitude of nightlife, dining, entertainment, and spa experiences.
Australia legalized gambling fairly recently compared to the US. The famed Monte Carlo opened in the 1800s for comparison. Australia legalized gambling in the 1970s.
Australia’s casino landscape is growing fast and morphing into a major attraction for the country. As more casinos open, the more popular the land-based attractions become. Australia is building bigger and better casino resorts on their beautiful coastlines.
The intrigue that Australia has always exuded is heightened when the glamour of posh casinos are added. Who wouldn’t want to travel to Australia, enjoy its unique scenery, gamble, eat at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, and stay in a five-star hotel? I definitely do, will, and have!
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below. Happy gambling.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …