Although the first legal gambling club opened in 1956, the act of gambling was not actually legalised until 1973. After its legalisation, many more casinos began to pop up around the country. Australia soon become one the of the biggest gambling nations in the world.
Around 75% of Australians have participated in some form of gambling in the last year, with the industry generating an average revenue of $5 billion dollars per year. Casinos in large cities like Sydney also attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists each year.
Australians have a huge number of popular land based casinos to choose from, these venues are often found within resorts with hotels, restaurants and bars.
Here are a few of the most popular casinos in Australia:
Casino Canberra is a stylish and sophisticated casino based in the capital city’s central business district. Opened in 1994, Casino Canberra was the first legally recognised casino in Canberra.
The casino features a top quality restaurant for its guests, with its menu focussing on authentic, tasty Chinese dishes. You can play many popular casino games in this venue, including Texas Hold’em, Roulette and Blackjack. There is also a range of traditional Chinese games to try such as Pai Gow.
Over in Burswood in Western Australia, the Crown Perth is another great casino venue. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it has a huge number of coin-operated machines and table games including Baccarat, Poker and Money Wheel. The casino is the only venue in Perth to be allowed to operate poker machines, and in fact it is only one of two in the entire country.
Mindil Beach Casino & Resort
For a casino with a beach nearby, Mindil Beach Casino & Resort in Darwin is an excellent option. Previously known as Sky City Darwin, this venue is also open 24/7 and has over 600 gaming machines to choose from.
The casino is part of a luxury resort which features high quality bars, restaurants and extension accommodation.
The Star Casino
The Star Casino is a huge resort with over 100,000 square foot of space. As the country’s second largest casino, it holds 34 poker tables and nearly 1500 slot machines (locally known as ‘pokies’).
This venue attracts an impressive nine million customers per year and has featured in a number of TV appearances. The Star also hosts a number of restaurants, nightclubs, spas and other entertainment venues.
Desert Cave Hotel and Casino
If you are looking for a slightly more unusual gambling destination, then you must check out the Desert Cave Hotel and Casino in Coober Pedy, 500 miles from Adelaide.
Built underground in the outback desert, this casino may not be the largest venue or have the biggest range of games of the list. However, this location is famous for its uniqueness and laid back atmosphere. There is also a shopping arcade for visitors looking to take home some souvenirs.
These are just a few of the country’s most popular casinos for both locals and international visitors. These casinos are tightly regulated by the government in their state or territory.
Australian gambling laws: What impact are they having on the country’s land based casinos?
Australians are some of the most prolific gamblers in the world. On average, they lose $990 US dollars per person per year, in comparison to $650 dollars in Singapore and $500 in Ireland. This is surprising as this country was quite late to the party for the legalisation of gambling, in comparison to other developed countries such as the US and the UK.
While land-based casinos are allowed in Australia, live online casino websites are effectively banned in the country.
The Interactive Gambling Act was introduced back in 2001 in order to ban Australian gambling websites from allowing casino games to be played by Australian residents. However, the policies wording led to many companies finding a loophole. The bill allowed companies that are based offshore to continue, driving revenue away from Australian businesses and causing more money to be spent overseas.
So, one way or another, residents of Australia can still access a live online casino if they wish, but it could be argued that the government is missing a trick. Although, there are still some types of gambling that is legally allowed in the country, this includes auto-racing, sports betting and online lotteries, providing that betting is not done in-game.
The impact of having such tight regulations for online gambling is that more Australian citizens are driven into visiting land-based casino venues.
Only two venues in the country, The Star and Crown Resorts Limited have been permitted by the local government to offer table gaming services. All venues must also obtain a licence from their local licencing authority and must display warning messages about gambling responsible in visible areas of the casino.
These rules have been put in place following the rise in the number of people gambling regularly and the amount of gambling debt increasing in the country. The government recognises that visiting casinos is an enjoyable pastime for thousands of its citizens, however it has also had to take action to prevent people from gambling irresponsibly.