From the ban to the world capital: Australian casino history

Harry Mason

It may come across as shocking but it wasn’t always easy to wager, bet or gamble in Australia. Only recently did the government realize that not only is a casino the perfect entertainment source for the population, but also an amazing way to make additional money for all of the social projects being undertaken in the country.

In this article, we will talk about the first cases of legalized casinos on Australian territory and the reasons why the government was inspired to do so. It’s not so much of history as an analysis of the core factors that played in the modern life of an Australian gambler.

Casinos were banned until 1973

The art of gambling first appeared in Australia somewhere around the 1840s when thousands of Chinese settlers came to the continent. Before that, the country was dominated by betting operations on horse racing.

But, even though slot machines were introduced early on in Australia’s history, it doesn’t mean that they were immediately recognized as legal tender. You see, most of the gambling in Australia was being done in saloons, pubs, and special gambling clubs which then became casinos that we know and love today.

Before 1973, the Australian government believed that controlling casinos was almost impossible and that they posed a serious threat to the locals both in financially as physically, as many criminal syndicates would often find themselves headquartering in casinos.

Eventually, though, the government was forced to legalize casinos simply because the tax revenue was too good to pass up. Many believe that due to new-found independence, Australia was in need of as much cash as soon as possible, and its population was one of the best sources for it. However, increasing taxes would have been out of the question, so why not tax casinos that pretty much collected the money for them.

The first-ever legal casino in Australia was Wrest Point Hotel Casino, which is still open to this day.

The largest casino in Australia

There are several types of casinos in Australia, all of them ranked as small, medium and large. There are currently 15 large casinos in Australia, and all of them are contributing billions of dollars to the national budget every single year, but not as strong as one of them.

The biggest contributor to the Australian economy as well as the most profitable casino in the country is the Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne. The venue has more than 5000 slot machines and 350 tables, being able to service thousands and even millions of patrons in a single day of operations.

It is considered to be not only the largest casino brand in Australia, but also the world as it has multiple branches in surrounding countries and cities such as Macau. It is also one of the most often visited casinos from foreigners, particularly from Asian countries.

Overall, Australian casinos have come quite a long way from being illegal at the beginning of the 1970s and being one of the biggest contributors to the Australian economies today. It’s been nearly 5 decades and the casinos have grown and developed so much as if they’ve had several lifetimes available to them.