There have always been strong ties between Croatia and Australia. Many families emigrated Down Under in the post war years, and today there are around 20,000 Australians who describe themselves as being of Croatian origin. Little wonder, then, that with tourist routes opened up again, Australia is near the top of many travel bucket lists.
There’s a wealth of things to see and do in Australia, but here, we are looking at one of the great antipodean traditions – the pokies! Gambling really is a national pastime here, and while online gambling in Australiahas become as popular as it has everywhere else in recent years, the nation is also home to some of the world’s best real world casinos. Let’s visit a few of them.
Let’s jump in at the deep end. The Crown is a massive hotel and entertainment complex that overlooks Sydney Harbour. It opened at the end of 2020 – not ideal timing, given wider global events, and now, more than 18 months later, its magnificent casino has finally received the green light to open its doors.
With 160 gaming tables, there will be no shortage of games to play – and this is only the first floor. A second floor containing video slots and other games will open in the coming months.
Darwin’s Beach casino resort is the only casino in the city. It’s like a slice of Las Vegas but with a very Australian character. Unlike the swish and opulent Crown, nobody stands on ceremony at Sky City (its former name, by which it is still locally known). The main feature is the 600+ pokies, featuring new titles, popular classics and a few incredible relics from years gone by. There are also all the table games you would expect at a good casino, including blackjack, poker, roulette and baccarat.
Once you’ve finished feasting yourself on the games, the resort offers a choice of restaurant options, from an informal sports bar that’s as popular with the locals as the guests to a fine diningoption. Hotel rooms and luxury suites that overlook the lagoon are also available.
The Star, Gold Coast
Formerly known as Jupiter’s, Queensland’s first casino has been a Gold Coast landmark since 1985. The casino has undergone two major renovations over the years, with yet more construction and expansion ongoing. As it is, there’s more space and a wider choice of games than ever before. At the last count, there were more than 1400 pokies and 70 table games, so you’re unlikely to get bored.
Being part of one of the Gold Coast’s premier leisure complexes means there is plenty more to do once you’ve finished gambling, including a choice of restaurants and a fabulous health spa.
The Crown, Melbourne
Let’s finish with the most famous casino in Melbourne. It’s actually the ideal place to start, as it offers a “learn to play” package where you’ll be given some coaching on popular games like baccarat, blackjack and roulette.
The Crown is one of Melbourne’s foremost entertainment venues, so there’s always something happening when you’ve used up all your betting chips.