Land-based casinos in Australia

While playing casino games at web casinos in the comfort of your own home is one of the best ways to gamble, there’s something about gearing up for a night out at a land-based venue. While Australia doesn’t have a strip of casinos like Vegas, we still have an array of iconic venues around the nation, but unfortunately unless you have a private jet you won’t be able to visit them all in one night. Nevertheless, we recommend visiting them all at least once if you get the chance. In the meantime, try your luck playing at Aussie-friendly online casinos.

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Our team have located and have listed Australia’s best land-based gambling establishments for you to add to your bucket list.

Melbourne: Crown Casino

Crown Casino in Melbourne, Victoria

  • Address: 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank VIC 3006
  • Opening hours: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Website: www.crownmelbourne.com.au

As Australia’s most iconic casino, and the biggest casino in the Southern Hemisphere, this is our number one land-based casino in Australia that we recommend visiting. Located on south side of the Yarra River in Melbourne, it can be quite a picturesque view, especially from the 28 SkyBar Lounge.

While there are a variety of bars on offer, including the popular Sports bar, we first want to take a look at the casino games and features on offer.

Casino games
While a large part of the casino floor is made up of pokies, 3500 of the gaming machines to be exact, Crown Casino also has an extensive range of table games. Including all the usual casino titles such as blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, Pai Gow, the Big Wheel and more, there are also an array of variants for players to try such as Casino War, which is quite a popular game amongst young players; electronic versions of blackjack, roulette, and more that offer touch screens to bet; Pontoon Pandemonium, which shouldn’t be confused for the online title Pontoon as these two have very different rules and can have a better house edge than its traditional blackjack counterpart; and Rapid Blackjack Plus, which should actually be avoided since it has a very high house edge of 5%.

Additionally, Crown casino offers a Bonus Texas Hold’em poker variant based on the rules used in the World Series of Poker so you can experience, or if you’re good enough practice for, the event.

Aussie Millions
Since the casino is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, it makes sense that it hosts the richest event south of the equator. The Australian Poker Championship, which sees international poker players flying into Melbourne, has a series of events including the main event which has a prize pool of over $7 million. There are even high roller events where there are buy-ins of $250,000. The tournament is so popular that it is broadcast on Australian television on channel one.

In addition to Aussie Millions, Crown Casino also hosts the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific event and other tournaments which sees many well-known International poker players, and other celebrities, gracing our shores.

Entertainment
The Crown in Melbourne caters for everyone who visits in terms of entertainment, offering both family-friendly events as well as nightlife and live music for the 18 plus crowd. For kids and kids at heart there is bowling, laser skirmish, movies, live performances and shopping available, while the older crowd are treated to live music at one of the 14 bars including the Velvet bar, Groove Live Bar and Terrace, and more. There are also four nightclubs on level three of the complex which each cater to different tastes. If you’re lucky, a doorman or woman may help you get in for cheaper.

Sports bar
Since Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia it is only fit that it has an iconic Sports Bar to match. With over 20 screens featuring major sporting events, and a bar conveniently fitted in the room, you can watch everything from a match of Origin, the AFL grand final or even casual races at the Sports Bar.

Sydney: The Star Casino

Star City Casino, Sydney, New South Wales

  • Address: 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009
  • Opening hours: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Website: www.star.com.au

Not quite as big as Melbourne’s Crown Casino but still the second biggest in Australia, The Star casino is actually the only legally operating casino in NSW, but won’t be for long with Packer’s new casino set to open in 2019.

In 2009 the casino underwent a refurbishment, which ended up costing almost $1 billion, as reported when it was completed in 2012. This refurbishment which saw a new and improved entrance, also included the casino changing its name from the Star City casino to just The Star. However, there are now proposed plans for even more renovations which we will detail below.

Additionally, the Star Casino is exempt from the lockout laws that Sydney have imposed making it an ideal venue for all night entertainment. They also have quite a big rewards program so if you are a regular it is worthwhile heading to the information desk, or registering online, to reap the benefits. It is also linked to Brisbane and Gold Coast casinos so if you plan to visit these venues too, the membership is worthwhile.

Casino games
There is a limit on how many pokies this casino can have due to state regulations, and that is 1500, and therefore the complex sees around 1490 gaming machines lining the floors. There are also the traditional style of games including blackjack, roulette, poker, the Australian version of Pontoon, poker, as well as an array of table game variants. There are also casual games such as the Big Wheel and keno.

Along with the main level for gaming, suited to low to average table limit players, there is also the Sovereign room, located on level three, which sees table limits from $25 right up to $75,000, as well as the ‘Inner Sanctum’ pits for even higher high rollers with betting limits from $100 to $500,000. If you are planning on heading here, you do need to register as it is only available for high rollers, so we recommend signing up for the Absolute Rewards program first so management can review your history.

Star casino Absolute Rewards
If you plan on being a regular at the Star, or if you are planning on spending big when you visit, it is a good idea to sign up to the Star Casino Absolute Rewards program. Here, you can work your way up the levels via Absolute points which you can earn by swiping your card every time you play. Additionally, these reward points can be converted to cash and you can even use them to fund dinners or accommodation at the Star, as well at Jupiters at the Gold Coast, and the Treasury Casino at Brisbane. You can either sign up at an information desk at Star casino or click here to register and monitor points.

Entertainment
Back in 2013 the Star announced another redevelopment plan stating that it would turn the rooftop into a 4500 square metre water park, featuring $25,000-a-night luxury villas. While the development won’t be completed until 2019 these plans will also see two new hotels, three more luxury pools, as well as 50 new restaurants and bars. This development is due to Packer’s plan to open his casino as it will provide stiff competition for the Star Casino.

For now, you can visit one of the eight bars which feature live music, visit their theatre which hosts some of the best live theatre performances including Dirty Dancing, Lion King, etc., or even visit their one and only nightclub, the Marquee.

Perth: Crown Casino

Crown Casino, Perth, Western Australia

  • Address: Great Eastern Highway, Burswood WA 6100
  • Opening hours: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Website: www.crownperth.com.au

Another Crown casino, but no where near as good as the Melbourne Crown, however, it is still a worthy contender and still offers all the Crown goodies including another stellar Sports Bar. Located in the capital city of Western Australia, Crown Perth is actually the only place which allows visitors and regulars to play two-up, not just on Anzac day but anytime of the year.

Casino games and two-up
Each casino operates under state regulation, and Crown Perth isn’t exempt, so when it comes to slots the only type allowed to line their floors are the coin-operated variants which do not operate using a lever. This means, while you won’t be able to find traditional 3 reel slots with a lever, there are a variety of coin-operated titles that also include video poker, dominoes, keno and more. While this may be a deterrent for some, the two-up area, which isn’t legal anywhere else in the country other than on April 25, is quite appealing.

Entertainment
Perth’s Crown casino is surrounded by Burswood Park which is now a recreational facility that was transformed from a rubbish tip. While we prefer to spend more time inside the casino, it is worthwhile checking the surroundings out.

Perth’s complex only caters to the 18 plus crowd unlike the Crown Casino Melbourne, so leave the kids at home if you can. Featuring 12 bars and two nightclubs, the entertainment side of things is definitely covered for those who can legally drink and gamble.

Gold Coast: Jupiters Hotel and Casino

Jupiter's Hotel Casino, Queensland

  • Address: Gold Coast Highway & Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach QLD 4218
  • Opening hours: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Website: www.jupitersgoldcoast.com.au

There are a few casinos in QLD, however we have listed one of the best – Gold Coast’s Jupiters Hotel and Casino. It can be accessed by foot, or by the monorail, which also takes you to the Oasis Shopping Centre. In 2015 it commenced a $345 million makeover, including a 17-storey six-star hotel, all planned to open in 2017.

Casino games and VIP
While there are two new levels of VIP gaming expected to open in 2017 along with the redevelopment, there are private gaming rooms available for high rollers. Additionally, Jupiters offers low and medium limit blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, Mini Baccarat, and even a Jupiters’ exclusive game called Jupiters 21. There are around 1600 pokies at the casino and players can enjoy around 70 table games.

Entertainment
Jupiters has eight bars to choose from including a popular Sports Bar that features state of the art TAB facilities, as well as the Atrium Bar which is perfect for those looking for live music as there is something always on. There is also the Jupiters Theatre which plays host to iconic live performances, as well as seven restaurants for you to dine in.

Darwin: The Skycity Darwin Casino

Sky City Casino, Darwin, Northern Territory

  • Address: Gilruth Avenue, The Gardens NT 0820
  • Opening hours: Pokies available 24 hours a day, with the main gambling floor open from noon everyday, closing at 4am Sunday to Thursday and 6am on Friday and Saturday
  • Website: www.skycitydarwin.com.au

Originally known as the MGM Grand, Skycity Darwin Casino is the only licensed casino in Darwin. It is also the 2015 host to the V8 Supercars Championship. While the casino has a whole section on their website devoted to NT Keno, they also offer an array of table games and great promotions for regulars and visitors to take advantage of, but we do recommend experiencing the keno.

Casino games
There are two storeys of games which includes 26 table games to choose from including roulette, blackjack, poker and more. There are also over 750 pokies to choose from, including progressives, that are always available to play. However, NT Keno is Skycity’s pride and joy.

NT Keno
NT Keno is considered the biggest keno game in Australia and is the only place in the entire nation that has a live ball draw, as opposed to the electronic version we see at pubs and clubs. Draws are every three minutes and there are jackpots worth millions on offer, so it is no wonder the casino has an entire section devoted to it.

Promotions
There are an array of promotions on offer, with each customised for the casino, the bars and restaurants, the hotel, and even for keno, which can be viewed on their website which we have included above. From trips to free dinner vouchers, and even game offers, there are some amazing bonuses available just for playing at Skycity. Additionally, there are live music, four bars to choose from, and five restaurants to experience.

Hobart: Wrest Point Hotel Casino

Wrest Point Casino, Tasmania

  • Address: 410 Sandy Bay Road Sandy Bay Tasmania Australia 7005
  • Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 9am to 3am, Friday and Saturday 9am to 4am
  • Website: www.wrestpoint.com.au

If you are in Tasmania you cannot pass this casino up due to its history. The Wrest Point Hotel casino was the first legal casino to be established in Australia. Opened in 1973, this casino was the first of many around Australia to open.

While it can be considered a ‘boutique’ casino, due to its size and opening hours, it still offers all the standard casino games, as well as quality live entertainment.

Casino pokies and table games
Wrest Point Hotel and Casino offers an array of pokies which start from one cent meaning they’re perfect for those with a smaller bankroll. There are hundreds of these gaming machines which line the floor, from the classics to the more modern pokies. Additionally, there are a number of traditional table games such as poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and more, along with fun variants including the Australian Pontoon title.

Sign up to the Federal Rewards Club if you plan on playing at Wrest Point Hotel and Casino regularly to reap the benefits by earning points every time you play a game.

Entertainment
Wrest Point Hotel Casino have four bars to choose from including the Boardwalk Snacks which is open until 3am for those who want a beer and a snack in the early hours of the morning, while live music is available at the ONYX bar, the Birdcage Bar, and the Pier one bar. There are also five restaurants to try and a number of shows, which have previously hosted The Presets, Dylan Moran, Keith Urban, and more.