ACT casinos are gambling properties located within the Australian Capital Territory. Abbreviated ACT, Australian Capital Territory is the territory set aside in Australia as the seat of national government. This federal capital territory is a small piece of the south east of Australia, surrounded on all sides by New South Wales. Not only is ACT the smallest territory in the nation, it only contains one proper city, the national capital of Canberra.
The Australian federal government was ceded this piece of land by New South Wales in 1911 during the construction of Canberra. Canberra, the capital, was totally pre-fabricated before it became the proper capital, though it has expanded greatly over the years beyond its original borders. Canberra has been Australia’s official capital since 1913.
In the history of ACT, Canberra Casino (also known as Casino Canberra) is the only legal gambling property located within the city limits of the capital. Canberra Casino is housed in Civic, the central part of the Australian capital. The casino itself is somewhat small compared to other Australian casino properties.
Visitors to Australian Capital Territory, or citizens looking for a casino complex, have just one option: Canberra Casino, noteworthy for its inclusion of a poker room. Many larger gambling complexes in Australia (with many more gambling machines and table games) don’t have a head-to-head poker room. Weekly poker tournaments are held every Thursday –up to forty players can buy in at AUD $115. The game is No Limit Hold ‘Em, and cash prizes are paid out to the top five finishers.
The largest poker tournaments at the property are the seasonal championships (a Winter Poker Tournament, Summer Poker Tournament, etc.) which players join by winning seats at satellite events held throughout the year. Sit & Go tourneys occur on an “on-demand” basis. Between six and eight gamblers can play in these No Limit Hold ‘Em events with a buy-in of AUD $60, no re-buys, and cash prizes for the top three finishers. Blinds for the on-demand event start at $25/$50 and increase every fifteen minutes until a winner is determined.
Casino customers not interested in poker can choose from around a few other offerings on a gambling floor of more than 38,000 square feet. Though the space is large enough to hold a number of pokies, a favourite of Australian and international gamblers, the site is not licenced to operate pokies or other machine games. The Casino’s management has tried to lobby the territorial government to allow poker machines on the floor, but interests representing Canberra’s club and bar gambling industry continue to fight that licensure, afraid that the pokies available in many popular nightclubs and other retail spaces will lose revenue if Casino Canberra adds these machines to their line-up.
It is unusual for a gambling venue not to offer poker machine and video poker games, but before Canberra’s only traditional casino can do so, they’d need the Territory’s legislators to allow for licensing. This would require a majority vote in favour of the measure in the territorial Assembly.
So besides the poker room, Canberra Casino’s games of chance and skill are mostly of the table variety; forty-one tables are active at all times, including double zero and single zero versions of roulette, a standard and a miniature baccarat game, a few variants of blackjack (including Pontoon and Spanish 21), money wheel, Sic Bo, and casino-style poker like Pai Gow and Caribbean Stud.
Canberra Casino opened in July of 1994 against strong opposition from some territorial authorities. Canberra’s National Convention Centre had been home to a small table game and poker room since 1992. That site closed at the opening of the larger permanent facility at Canberra Casino.
ACT is similar to other world capitals that occupy their own district rather than follow the rules of another federal territory – in the USA, the capital city of Washington is located in the District of Columbia, though It is located very close to Virginia, Maryland, and a few other smaller American states. Because ACT is the seat of the nation’s capital, it is a major tourist destination, especially for travellers interested in Australian history and cultural sites, but for a number of other reasons as well.
Many tourists to ACT come to see one of the largest natural parks in Australia. The city of Canberra makes up less than half of the land in Australian Capital Territory; the rest is made up of the large Namadgi National Park. This mountainous and heavily-forested area takes up more of ACT’s territorial space than Canberra itself. The most obvious feature of the park is its many granite mountains, part of the Australian Alps, though the space is actually very diverse in terms of both landscapes and wildlife. Mountains, alpine forests, and grassy plains make Namadgi a natural home for animals like kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and a long list of birds. The water captured from Namadgi National Park supplies ACT and Canberra with as much as 85% of their water supply.
Canberra and ACT are known as the “home of the Australian story.” Museums and other sites showing off the importance of the country’s Indigenous heritage are located throughout the territory. The city’s botanical gardens and zoo will also be of interest to people touring the country and its capital. As the nation’s capital, Canberra is home to the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery, the National Library, as well as the country’s Parliament House and High Court. Since the early 90s, Casino Canberra has offered tourists table gambling and poker games, though bettors looking for pokies in the capital city will have to stick to the games available in nightclubs, restaurants, and bars.