Country Club Casino in Tasmania is one of two large casino gambling properties on the island state. Tasmania was the first Australian territory to allow casino gambling; the first casino on the island (Wrest Point) opened in 1973, well before most gambling venues on the mainland. The Tasmanian government wanted to legalize gaming on the island as a way to increase tourism to the territory.
Generally favourable economic conditions throughout Australia, combined with improved access to the territory via airplane and ferry and the lower cost of these methods of travel, have played a big part in the larger number of tourists visiting Tasmania. Two traditional casino gambling venues exist in Tasmanian. Outside of these two sites, hotels and bars on the island are allowed to offer pokies and other electronic gambling titles, and the Tasmanian Gaming Commission reports a large number of the state’s citizens participating in online casino gambling as well.
That group, the Tasmanian Gaming Commission, exercises a lot of control over the island’s gambling sites. The TGC regulates all forms of betting in Tasmania, basing their regulations on those of Australia as a whole and their own set of state laws. All gambling machines and table games in Tasmania are heavily regulated and controlled by existing laws; this includes specifics about how long a gambling floor can be open, the number of clocks that must be visible (based on the number of table games on a casino floor), and other aspects of the gaming business.
Why does Tasmania have just two major casinos? The island’s small size – the population hovers around 500,000 – and a desire on the part of the state government to exercise a large amount of control are the two major factors.
Tasmania’s government is strict about certain gambling regulations – the Gaming Commission sets a specific limit on the number of machine games each casino can offer, handles all the training and licensing needs of the state’s gambling staff, and even dictates a daily limit on how much and how often casino customers can cash in their chips. Make sure you understand the casino’s specific rules before you start to play.
A few minutes from the central business district of Launceston, to the south of the Tasmanian capital of Hobart, is Country Club Casino and Resort. All gaming at Country Club is split into two rooms – one section holds the casino’s electronic gaming machines and the other is set aside for table games.
In the hall where gambling machines are set up, around 500 pokies, video poker games, slots, and other skill games are available. While other Australian casinos have electronic game collections that number around 1,000, banks of 500 or so pokies and other machines is still considered a large selection in the country, especially on the small island state of Tasmania. The betting range on the casino’s pokies and other electronic machines varies from AUD $0.01 per spin up to $1 per spin.
Gamblers who prefer to play table games can pick from a collection of seventeen traditional and unique offerings, some identical to standard casino games around the world, others based on Australia’s own favourites. Gamblers can pick from a large section of electronic and table-based keno games, three versions of blackjack (Pontoon and Spanish 21 among them), multiple rule variations of roulette, casino-style poker games such as Caribbean Stud and Casino War, and a collection of electronic and traditional money wheel games. Minimum bets on table games start as low as AUD $2.50, with many games requiring a wager of AUD $5 and up.
Poker fans aren’t left out at Country Club in Launceston – the casino’s website is light on details about the game schedule, but they do host live head-to-head Texas Hold ‘Em games at the site, with tables maxed out at 10 players.
Country Club’s casino is not the biggest in Australia or even in Tasmania; that honour goes to Wrest Point in Hobart. What sets Country Club Casino apart is the natural setting combined with hundreds of pokies and more than two dozen table games on offer. Launceston is the largest city in the territory outside the capital of Hobart, a popular destination for tourists who want to see a more authentic side of this interesting Australian federal territory.
Guests take note – all gaming areas and indoor sections of Country Club Casino Resort are non-smoking.
Country Club Resort is located on the edge of Prospect Vale, a ten minute drive from the airport in Launceston, the largest city in Tasmania outside Hobart. The hotel complex attached to the casino offers 100 guest rooms, including luxury-style villas, large VIP suites, and other setups for special guests and big spenders. Country Club offers a fully-featured business and convention centre for conferences and banquets, an 18-hole golf course set in the bushland surroundings of Launceston, and five restaurants ranging from a pizzeria all the way up to gourmet dining at the signature Terrace Restaurant.
As for nightlife, the casino and hotel complex is home to four different bars, including a wine bar and bottle shop and one bar open to casino gamblers only. The complex is home to multiple small stage clubs where live entertainment is scheduled most nights of the week.
Guests at Country Club who want to s kip casino gambling for other entertainment can take advantage of the attached sauna, pool, and spa. Guided trail rides and fishing expeditions (in a nearby lake stocked with trout and other native species) let guests get out into the bushland and experience Tasmania in their own way.
Every visitor to the hotel earns free valet parking, while people headed to the airports in Launceston or Hobart can pick up free transfers from the front desk. Guests to the hotel can check in or out any time of day or night for their convenience.
Tourism in Tasmania is fast becoming a major industry, a big source of income all over the island state, and while regulations limiting gambling on the island are loosening up, especially in casino-hotel resorts like Country Club, it’s important for guests to honour existing restrictions and make sure they take note of opening hours, limits on betting, and the Country Club’s own rules and regulations before they sit at a table or pokie machine.
See also: Wrest Point Casino