Casinos in Australia & Other Activities

Casinos in Australia

Australia is a huge country, home to both massive urban centers and remote populations. From beaches to mountains with just about every climate and geography in between, Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, some 4.5 million square miles of diverse landscape and culture.

People visit Australia for different reasons. You could make an entire tour of cultural landmarks, another for native sites of interest, and another for SCUBA diving and watersports. Sydney is one of the world's great cities, while the Outback is one of the world's great wildernesses.

Gambling is a cultural phenomenon in the Commonwealth. From the rabid popularity of poker machines (what the rest of the world call "slots" or "slot machines") to dozens of tiny poker rooms, card rooms, and mini casinos in pubs and night clubs, to the wide availability of Australia's extremely-popular lottery games, gambling is an integral part of Aussie culture.

Casino gambling law in Australia allows for the operation of dozens of casinos around the Commonwealth. We like to cover gambling destinations in detail, so here's a complete guide to visiting the casinos of Australia.

First, we look at the top-rated hotel-casinos in the Commonwealth, including options for budget travelers, big spenders, and everyone in-between. Further down the page there's details of a range of popular non-gambling activities, a history of gambling in Australia, and a comprehensive directory of Australian casinos by state.

The Top Casinos and Hotels in Australia

In most of these destination-specific pages, we list 2 or 3 properties in each of 3 categories, budget, mid-range, and luxury. But Australia has so few properties that we were able to create a complete directory of all the casinos in the country.

Since we have a complete directory, we limited our listings for the best in each price range to a single property. You'll find those 3 recommendations here.

Best Budget Hotel and Casino in Australia
The Reef

The Reef offers some of the best table gaming action in the entire country. They just added "Rapid Roulette" to their list of options. They're also proud of their Texas hold'em events, which take place from Thursday to Sunday in the "Casino Sports Arena". They offer buy-ins from between $50 and $500.

They also offer over 500 different slot machines, including some new and exciting titles like Back to the Future, Frontier Fever, and Frontier Wild West.

The slot players' club at the Reef is called "Reef Rewards". You can sign up for free at the casino and get exclusive benefits and deals. Every time you play any of the "pokies" there, you earn bonus points that can be cashed in for perks like free parking, meals, etc. It's easy to sign up, too—the desk is in the front of the casino.

The Reef offers promotions 7 days a week. These promotions vary with their promotional schedule, but here are some examples of what you can look forward to:

Super Swipe is a game where you swipe your players' club card when you enter the casino. You can win an instant $20 for just doing that.

Double Points are available every day between 9am and 11am. This is a great way to maximize the benefits of being a club member.

Frequent giveaways are the other types of promotion you'll commonly find at the Reef.

The accommodations in the hotel are as nice as any you'll find in the entire country. They have 5 room types to choose from:

  • Superior
  • Deluxe
  • Junior Suite
  • Pullman Suite
  • Presidential Suite

The property is also known as an excellent wedding venue.

You'll find four restaurants to choose from:

  • The Tamarind Restaurant
  • Flinders Bar & Grill
  • Cafe China Seafood Restaurant
  • Cafe China Noodle Bar

They also have 4 bars on site as well as frequently scheduled entertaiment.

Key Information

Address: 35-41 Wharf Street, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia
Phone number: +61 7 4030 8888
Website: http://www.reefcasino.com.au/

Best Mid Range Hotel and Casino in Australia
The Treasure Casino & Hotel

The accommodations and gaming at The Treasury Casino & Hotel are almost as nice as you'll find at The Reef, but the price is probably about $50 less per night. If you're looking for someplace nice to stay and gamble, but you don't want to break the bank, The Treasury is an excellent choice.

They have an outstanding cardroom for poker players with lots of cool promotions available. The poker room opens at 10am. Their tournament formats include Bounty Hunter and Deep Stack tournaments. They also offer "Super 90" tournaments, which require a $90 buy-in. The Treasury is also the home of the Brisbane Poker Championships.

The rewards program at The Treasury is called "Absolute Rewards". It works like most slot machine player clubs, but it's a program that works at multiple properties besides The Treasury. You can earn points (and redeem them) at any of the following properties:

  • The Star Sydney
  • Jupiter's Hotel & Casino Gold Coast
  • The Treasury Casino & Casino Gold Coast

You earn the following perks:

  • Absolute Points determine your tier status. The higher your tier is, the more rewards you earn for every dollar gambler.
  • Casino Dollars act just like they sound like. You can see how many Casino Dollars you've earned in your account at any time. These can be redeemed on the slot machines there or in the restaurants or bars. You can even save them up to spend on your hotel stays.
  • Absolute Dollarsact as currency that you can spend in the Absolute Rewards Shop, which stocks over 500 different products to choose from. You can get more details about the rewards program on their official site.

The Treasury does cater to high rollers, too. Once you've reached one of the top tiers of the Rewards Club—Pearl or Black—you're allowed to gamble in the VIP areas, The Suite, The Club, and Sovereign Room.

Their slot machine selection is excellent, with over 1600 different machines to choose from. Games include Elvis, Where's the Diamonds, and Rock around the Clock—among countless others.

The table game selection is also good. They're especially proud of their craps tables, which is justifiable, since that's one of the most exciting games you can play in a casino. It's also a game that's not commonly offered in Australian casinos.

Other table games available include Caribbean Stud, Treasury Wheel, roulette, blackjack, mini baccarat, sic bo, and Rapid Roulette.

Gambling is only one of the various kinds of entertainment available at the Treasury, though. They also have big screen televisions in their lounges devoted to watching sports. They also have multiple live music and show venues on site.

The property also features 7 different restaurants:

  • The Lab Bar + Restaurant
  • Fat Noodle
  • Marco Polo Dinning
  • Kitchen at Treasury
  • Ryan's on the Park
  • 2Go Snack Bar
  • Market Buffet
  • They also have 4 bars:
  • The Kitty
  • Ryan's on the Park
  • Tab Bar
  • Live and Free at Livewire

For travelers and gamblers who enjoy luxury accommodations and gambling at a mid-range price, the Treasury is easily the top property in Australia.

Key Information

Address: 130 William Street, Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone number: +61 7 3306 8888
Website: http://www.treasurybrisbane.com.au/

Best Budget Hotel and Casino in Australia
Wrest Point

Prices vary according to when you're traveling and what's going on at the property, but on most nights, you can stay at Wrest Point Hotel and Casino for less than $100. Wrest Point also has the distinction of being the oldest casino still operating in Australia. Sure, that means that in some respects the property might be tired. But at the price, you can't beat it.

One of the big draws in the casino at Wrest Point is the blackjack. There's a $10 minimum bet, but they have $5 games available on Friday nights from 8:30pm to 9:30pm. They also offer games like Federal Pontoon, roulette, Federal Baccarat, Money Wheel, and Rapid Roulette.

The poker room (The Poker Pit) is open Wednesday through Saturday. On Wednesday and Thursday the room opens at 6pm, but it doesn't open until 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights. They charge a 10% commission on all pots over $20, but they don't take a rake of any kind if the pot is less than $20. They also host 2 major poker tournaments each year:

  • Wrest Point
  • 3 Diamond

They also have plenty of electronic gaming machines, with limits starting at a penny per spin. They're also well-known for offering several linked progressive jackpots of $10,000 or more. You can also listen to live music in the casino while you play these games.

Like most reputable major casinos, Wrest Point also offers a loyalty program. They call it the "Federal Rewards Club". It's free to sign up, and the more you play, the more benefits you earn. You can read more about the Federal Rewards Club here.

And even though this is one of the most affordable hotel and casinos in Australia, they still have lots of options for dining and cocktails. Their restaurants include:

  • Point Revolving Restaurant
  • Pier One Restaurant & Bar
  • Wrest Point Buffet & Coffee Shop
  • Loft Bistro
  • Riverview Snacks

They also have some cool bars:

  • Onyx Bar
  • Birdcage Bar
  • Casino Bar
  • Boardwalk Snacks

If you're traveling to Australia to gamble, and you're on a budget, Wrest Point is easily the top choice in the country.

Key Information

Address: 410 Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay TAS 7005, Australia
Phone number: +61 3 6221 1888
Website: http://www.wrestpoint.com.au/

Non-Gambling Activities in Australia

It's traditional for us to include a section about the non-gambling activities available in the various destinations we cover on the site. Australia is a larger destination than some of the areas we cover, so there are a wide variety of choices of things to do there. Much of it depends on where in the country you're staying.

You should think about some factors that might affect which non-gambling activities you're interested in, too. For example, depending on the weather when you're traveling, you might want to focus on indoor activities rather than outdoor activities. You'll also want to think about whether or not you need child and family friendly activities. Budget's always a factor, too.

Here's a list of what we think the top non-gambling activities in Australia are.

Australian War Memorial

Australia's national memorial to all the members of its armed forces who've participated in and especially who died in wars involving the Commonwealth of Australia. This is a massive memorial with a famous edifice that recently added a large and engaging national military museum, with no admission charge. This memorial opened in 1941 but is still one of the busiest and most significant pieces of real estate in the entire country.

Key Information

Address: Treloar Cres, Campbell ACT 2612, Australia
Phone number: +61 2 6243 4211
Website: https://www.awm.gov.au/

Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk

A cliff-top coastal walk from Bondi to CoogeeBeach is an all-day affair that doesn't cost you a dime. If you have a little hiking experience, you can try the entire four mile route along Sydney's eastern side. The views can't be beat, with gorgeous untouched beaches, several parks, photo-worthy cliffs, and rock pools teeming with wildlife. You can camp in the beaches for free, and a number of little cafes and boutique hotels are also available.

Key Information

Address: Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW
Phone number: N/A
Website: http://bonditocoogeewalk.com.au/

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

The number one tourist stop in all of Tasmania is this wildlife sanctuary, home to every native Tasmanian species, plus some non-native species for good measure. And yes, you can find plenty of Tasmanian devils here. This sanctuary supports a great cause and is home to some species you can't find anywhere else — best of all, they offer two free days a month, making it a perfect stop for budget travelers or large families.

Key Information

Address: 593 Briggs Rd, Brighton, TAS, Australia
Phone number: +61 3 6268 1184
Website: http://bonorong.com.au/

Kings Park & Botanic Garden

Kings Park is perfect for people who love city parks. It's one of the largest and most gorgeous in the world. The design and displays display much of both Aboriginal and European influences on the Australian culture.

Tourists can see over 3000 different species of plans there. The bulk of the park is protected as bushland. It's the perfect nature-friendly alternative to the technology heavy casino activities you're probably spending a lot of time engaged in.

Key Information

Address: Fraser Avenue, Kings Park WA 6005
Phone number: +61 8 9480 3600
Website: http://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park

Melbourne Cricket Ground

This largest stadium in Australia is the tenth biggest in the world, and the only one on that list not located in the United States. This cricket ground is so massive, its lighting towers set Guinness Book records for construction height. 100,000 people can fit in this stadium, the one-time home of the 1956 Olympic Games. These days, Melbourne Cricket Ground is used mainly for cricket, tennis, and soccer.

Key Information

Address: Brunton Ave, Richmond VIC, Australia
Phone number: +61 3 9657 8888
Website: http://www.mcg.org.au/

Mount Wellington

Mount Wellington has had significance among humans for thousands of years. A one-time sacred spot for aboriginal people, this peak of 4,100 feet is known for being the only Australian mountain covered in snow year-round, and as the home of the odd rock formation known as the Organ Pipes. If you make it to the top, you can see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world from one of various lookout cabins at the peak.

Key Information

Address: Pinnacle Rd, Wellington Park TAS 7054, Australia
Phone number: +61 3 6238 2176
Website: http://www.wellingtonpark.org.au/

Shrine of Remembrance

Australians are nothing if not patriotic, and it's no surprise that not one but two memorials to war dead exist in the Commonwealth. The Shrine of Remembrance was originally built to honor the dead of the Great War, but now serves as a shrine for all Australian war dead. It is the home of ANZAC Day, the largest holiday in Australia, and no visit to the Commonwealth is complete without it.

Key Information

Address: Birdwood Ave, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
Phone number: +61 3 9661 8100
Website: http://www.shrine.org.au/

Sydney Ferries

The best way to get around inner Sydney is by water-taxi. The Sydney ferries are so iconic, they've become a tourist stop all their own. Some 16 million people take a Sydney ferry each year, and the journey is as much a part of the experience as the destination. A trip to Sydney without a ride in a ferry is a waste of a trip, in our opinion.

Key Information

Address: 18 Lee Street, Chippendale, NSW
Phone number: 131 500
Website: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/customers/ferries/sydney-ferries

Sydney Harbor

Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful areas in the entire country. In fact, it's considered the finest harbor in the entire world. You can spend a lot of time there just watching all the cool small ships and boats that still use the harbor as a working port. But it's also a place of exceeding natural beauty, too, especially if you enjoy large bodies of water.

Key Information

Address: M1, Port Jackson, Australia
Phone number: 1300 655 995
Website: http://www.australia.com/en/places/sydney/nsw-sydney-harbour.html

The History of Gambling in Australia

Gambling is an inextricable part of Australian culture. In fact, the vast majority of Australian citizens (80%+) gamble on a regular basis—that's more often than any other country in the world. In fact, one out of five or six adults play pokies (the Australian name for slot machines) at least once a week. That doesn't sound like much, but it generates over 60% of the revenue from gambling for the entire country.

Australians don't just gambler on casino games, either. Horse racing is popular there, as is poker. New South Wales is one gambling hotspot in the country. It's the site where Australia had its first official horse race in 1810. It's also the home of the first official Australian lottery, which went live in 1881.

Gambling laws in Australia are determined largely by the individual states and territories, although the last couple of decades have seen a rise in the amount of interest shown by the national legislature. Some of this is probably due to the rising interest (and correspondingly high amount of money) in the online gambling niche.

A list of the laws that have been made about gambling in the country would take up more space than we have here. In ACT alone, we count at least 9 different pieces of legislation, with names like the Casino Control Act of 2006, the Gaming Machine Act of 2004, and the Interactive Gambling Act of 1998. The lists for the other states and territories are even longer.

The one thing that almost all of this legislation has in common is its lack of concern with the average Australian placing bets online.

Related Information

In our gambling laws section you can read more about Australian gambling legislation, including what is and isn't legal online.

Historians categorize historical events related to gambling in Australia into 4 major periods.

The first is the colonization period, which lasted from 1788 to 1900. Betting on horse racing was probably the most common betting activity during this period. Lotteries were also popular.

The second is the period of selective legalization, which lasted from 1900 to the 1940s.

The third is the period of market growth that took place from World War II to the 1950s. This is when "poker machines" started becoming popular. (A "poker machine" is more or less the same thing as an American would call a slot machine.)

The current period is the huge market expansion that the country has seen in its gambling industry since the 1970s. Sports betting was illegal until the 1980s, even though it was still a common enough activity even before that.

Australian Casino Directory

Probably the easiest way to organize an Australian casino directory is by state and then by the name of the casino. That's exactly what we've done below.

ACT

You'll only find one casino in the Australian Capital Territory.

Casino Canberra

The casino is also sometimes called "Canberra Casino". It's notable for being one of the first casinos in the country. It's also smaller than most casinos in the area.

Key Information

Phone number: 21 Binara St, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Address: +61 2 6257 7074
Website: http://www.casinocanberra.com.au/

New South Wales

Like ACT, New South Wales only has a single casino.

The Star Sydney Casino & Hotel

This is the 2nd largest casino in the country. It overlooks Darling Harbour in Pyrmont, Sydney. The property has 7 restaurants and 8 bars. The property was renovated in 2012 with a price tag of $475 million.

Key Information

Phone number: 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia
Address: +61 1800 700 700
Website: http://www.star.com.au/

Northern Territory
Skycity Darwin

Skycity Darwin is a reasonably small casino, with only 117 rooms. It's been open since 1983. It's operated under several different names during its history, including Mindil Beach Casino, Diamond Beach Hotel and Casino, and MGM Grand Darwin.

Key Information

Phone number: Gilruth Ave, Darwin NT 0820, Australia
Address: +61 8 8943 8888
Website: http://www.skycitydarwin.com.au/

Lasseters Hotel Casino
Formely Alice Spring Casino

Skycity Darwin is a reasonably small casino, with only 117 rooms. It's been open since 1983. It's operated under several different names during its history, including Mindil Beach Casino, Diamond Beach Hotel and Casino, and MGM Grand Darwin.

Key Information

Phone number: Gilruth Ave, Darwin NT 0820, Australia
Address: +61 8 8943 8888
Website: http://www.lhc.com.au/

Queensland
Jupiters Gold Coast

Jupiter's Hotel and Casino was the first casino to open on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It's operated by ECHO Entertainment Group. Guests can take the monorail to and from the Oasis Shopping Center. Like Lasseter's, Jupiter's is an entire complex, consisting of 7 aces of amenities, including almost 600 guest rooms and bars, restaurants, and conference accommodations.

Key Information

Phone number: Gold Coast Hwy & Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach QLD 4218, Australia
Address: +61 7 5592 8100
Website: https://www.jupitersgoldcoast.com.au/

The Ville Resort
Formely Jupiter's Casino Townsville

The Ville is a resort-style property, gorgeously decorated, with beautiful views. It's a great spot for dining, entertainment, and gambling.

Key Information

Phone number: Sir Leslie Thiess Dr, Townsville City QLD 4810, Australia
Address: +61 7 4722 2333
Website: http://www.the-ville.com.au/

Conrad Treasury Casino

The Ville is a resort-style property, gorgeously decorated, with beautiful views. It's a great spot for dining, entertainment, and gambling.

Key Information

Phone number: 130 William Street, Brisbane 4001 Australia
Address: +61 7 3306 8888
Website: http://www.treasurybrisbane.com.au/

The Reef

This was our top pick for best luxury casino in the entire country. You can find a detailed review of the property by scrolling back up the page for our recommended casinos list. They offer one of the best selections of table games in the entire country. All of the amenities and services provided by The Reef are in the top tier of luxury accommodations.

Key Information

Phone number: 35-41 Wharf Street, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia
Address: +61 7 4030 8888
Website: http://www.reefcasino.com.au/

South Australia
Adelaide Casino

Adelaide Casino is one of the bigger gambling venues in Australia. They have almost 100 table games available as well as close to 1000 slot machines. It's also one of the largest employers in South Australia. They've been in business there since 1985.

Key Information

Phone number: North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Address: +61 8 8212 2811
Website: http://www.adelaidecasino.com.au/

Tasmania
Wrest Point Hotel Casino

Wrest Point Hotel Casino was our #1 pick for budget hotel casinos, but it's actually a first class property with really good room rates. You can scroll up the page to that section for more details about the property. But let us express here again what a great value this property represents to the gambler on a budget.

Key Information

Phone number: 410 Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay TAS 7005, Australia
Address: +61 3 6221 1888
Website: http://www.wrestpoint.com.au/

Country Club Casino

Country Club Casino is average in almost every respect, but it does have one unusual perk you won't find at most casinos in Australia. They have an 18 hole golf course on site.

Key Information

Phone number: Country Club Ave, Prospect Vale TAS 7250, Australia
Address: +61 3 6335 5777
Website: http://www.countryclubtasmania.com.au/

Victoria
Crown Casino

This is one of the largest casino and hotel complexes in the entire country. They offer an excellent variety of table games and slot machines. They also offer all the standard amenities you'd expect from a full service hotel and casino—restaurants, bars, fitness center, business services, etc.

Key Information

Phone number: 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
Address: +61 3 9292 8888
Website: https://www.crownmelbourne.com.au/

Western Australia
Crown Perth

The Crown Perth is a casino and convention center hotel located near the Swan River. It actually encompasses two hotels, the Crown Metropol and the Crown Promenade. This is one of the older and larger properties there, having been opened in 1985. It's undergone at least 4 renovations since then, the most recent in 2012.

Key Information

Phone number: 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
Address: +61 3 9292 8888
Website: https://www.crownmelbourne.com.au/

Casino Gambling in Australia: A Summary

If you're planning a visit to Australia for casino gambling, the guide above has all the details you need to experience the country, its gaming options, and its culture. Australia may not be the first place you think of when it comes time to plan a gambling vacation, but they're trying to do something about that. Chasing tourist dollars, every state in Australia now has some form of relaxed gambling regulations, allowing for at least the use of pokies and other gaming machines.

Tourism is a major industry in Australia, responsible for some $35 billion of the domestic economy. It's also a growing industry. Last year, more than 8 million foreigners visited Australia, the largest total ever recorded. With increased access to legal gambling, including new provisions allowing for a variety of new sports wagers in some states, it's clear that gaming is becoming an even larger part of the Commonwealth economy.

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