Victoria is home to just one casino – but what a casino it is!
The Crown Casino is the largest casino not only in Australia, but in the entire Southern Hemisphere, making it a destination for gamblers around the world.
Located in Melbourne (and often known as the Crown Melbourne as a result), the Crown Casino plays host to Australia’s biggest gambling events, such as prestigious poker tournaments like the Aussie Millions.
The Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex was built in 1994. Originally located on the north bank of the Yarra River, it moved to its current location on the south bank in 1997. The complex, which includes not only gaming areas but also shopping centres and entertainment venues, covers approximately two city blocks of space – making it one of the largest casino complexes in the world.
The pokies selections at the Crown Casino are a little more diverse than at your local club, to put it lightly. The Crown has a license for up to 2,500 poker machines, and it takes full advantage of that by offering one of the widest selections of pokies you’ll find anywhere in the world. With thousands more video poker machines and other electronic games, there’s never a shortage of choice on the casino floor.
Table games are another point of strength for the Crown Casino, with most of the more than 350 tables devoted to blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps and Pai Gow. Other games like Three Card Poker can also be found, as well as big wheel and sic bo games, among others. One unfortunate aspect of play at Crown is that lower-stakes players don’t always have the best options available. For instance, most or all of the low-stakes blackjack tables use a form of the game the casino calls “Blackjack Plus,” which allows the dealer to push by making a 22 and carries a higher house edge. Lower level roulette games also use the American roulette wheel with two zeroes, rather than the more favourable European roulette wheel with a single zero (which is available for higher-stakes players).
Poker is an area in which Crown truly stands out. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call Crown Casino the centre for poker in either the Southern Hemisphere or in Asia/Oceania, as it hosts some of the world’s largest poker tournaments. Annually, players can participate in the Aussie Millions series and the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific. You can find the poker room in the basement area of the casino.
High rollers and VIPs can play in exclusive gaming areas, including some limited-access salons and the exclusive Mahogany Room.
If you’re interested in visiting Crown for reasons other than gambling – or just want to take a break from playing pokies for a little while – there are plenty of entertainment options available in the Crown Entertainment Complex. If you want to grab something to eat, there are several restaurants along with fast food options for those who just want a quick bite.
As for actual entertainment, there are plenty of facilities available for adults and children of all ages. Along with a full Village Cinema complex, there’s also a bowling alley, a vide arcade, and a laser tag venue. For more adult options, you can check out one of two nightclubs or several bars.
There are also some unusual attractions you might take advantage of, particularly if you are visiting the Crown for a major event. For instance, the Palladium Room is the largest ballroom in Melbourne, with enough room to comfortably seat 1,500. This has made it a popular venue for major balls and awards ceremonies. Visitors will also want to check out the pyrotechnic displays hosted every night, in which spheres of fire emanate from the tops of the Crown’s towers.
Shopping is also a big part of the Crown experience, with several luxury stores available within the complex. Stores like Harrolds, Prada, Versace and Louis Vuitton will keep any high end shopper satisfied, and are just a few of the many stores in the Crown complex.
Finally, there is plenty of lodging for those who want to spend multiple days at the Crown. There are three hotels in all, including the Crown Metropol, which is Australia’s largest hotel with 658 rooms in total. Both the Crown Towers and Crown Promenade are also 5-star facilities, and each offers more than 450 additional rooms.