The Crown Casino in Victoria, part of the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex, is a large casino gambling venue built within a larger entertainment precinct on the south bank of the Yarra River. The Crown is one of Melbourne’s larger gambling complexes, located in the Southbank area of Melbourne’s central business district.
Taking up a total of 510,000 square miles, The Crown Casino and Entertainment centre is the biggest gambling venue in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world. As it stands today, the Crown is a rebuilt version of the original complex built in 1994. In 1997, the casino was moved from the north bank of the Yarra to the south, placing it squarely on Southbank Promenade right on the waterfront.
The casino’s license allows for 500 tables of casino standards like blackjack and up to 2,500 different poker machines and video poker games. At any given time, the Crown Casino hosts around 450 gambling tables, which allows the site to host games allowing a variety of bet ranges with a number of different rule variations.
On the gambling floor, customers will find the six traditional Australian casino titles: blackjack, craps, Pai Gow, casino poker games, baccarat, and roulette, which is available around the clock in both American and European versions. The popular Australian electronic version of roulette (called Rapid Roulette) premiered at the Crown years ago, and the casino is still host to a large number of Rapid Roulette games.
Roulette players that haven’t tried Rapid Roulette but are looking for a more convenient way to play should check out the Crown’s many electronic game portals. Played according to traditional roulette rules, the main difference is that gamblers place bets on a handheld touch screen portal that’s connected to a central game and roulette wheel. The popularity of this electronic game version gave rise to titles like Rapid Bigwheel, Rapid Sic-Bo, and Rapid Baccarat.
As for the casino’s standard game tables, versions using single and double zero wheels are provided – the smaller stakes tables allowing bets as low as $1 are all double-zero games, while tables with bet minimums of $10 and up mainly use the European layout which hosts far superior player odds (one zero).
More on the casino’s table games – the lowest-denomination blackjack tables run a unique variant called Blackjack Plus, which should be avoided. Higher denomination blackjack tables have a set of rules that give the casino an edge as low as 0.5%, while Blackjack Plus games give the house an advantage of more than 5%, similar to double-zero roulette games.
Casino-style poker, not a big feature at some Australian venues, is a forte of the Crown. Games like 3 Card Poker, Texas Hold’em. and Caribbean Stud occupy a space all their own on the casino’s basement level.
Players looking for head to head poker games at the Crown take notice; this is one of the major homes of competitive poker games and tournaments in all of the Asia-Pacific part of the world. The Crown is home to Aussie Millions, the Southern Hemisphere poker tournament with the biggest prizes. The Crown also plays host to the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific – part of a recent expansion of the World Series of Poker’s line-up of world events.
Fans of pokies aren’t left out, though a collection of 500 table games is unusually high for this part of the world. Crown Casino’s 2,500 poker machines are spread across the casino floor, and come in more variations than the casino’s table games. Pokies accepting wagers in the 1-cent, 2-cent, and 3-cent are available around the clock – 20-cent, 50-cent and dollar pokies are also available for bettors with larger bankrolls. In the casino’s VIP section, a few pokies allowing AUD $2 and $5 bets are provided, though most of this invitation-only private betting room is dedicated to poker and table games.
As for the resort, it is made up of three different hotels located around the property. Crown Towers is the casino’s luxury hotel, in the middle of the Crown Entertainment Centre. Nearly 500 rooms and villas are dotted across forty floors of tower space, built over the bank of the Yarra overlooking Melbourne’s bustling city centre. Special guests can choose to stay in the biggest suite in the Southern Hemisphere, one set of rooms that make up an entire floor. The hotel’s website points out an interesting fact – Crown Towers employs the largest pool of butlers and maids in the nation of Australia.
The largest on-site hotel is the Crown Metropol, the biggest in the nation in terms of its number of available rooms. Guests have their pick of nearly 700 rooms on thirty tower floors. Metropol (like the business-friendly Promenade described below) is connected directly to the Crown Entertainment Complex and its casino by walkway hanging over Whiteman Street below.
The Crown Promenade has just over 450 rooms and is built one block behind the luxury Crown Towers, connected to the entertainment centre by another pedestrian walkway over Whiteman Street. Less luxury and more leisurely, the Promenade is also the hotel section of the Crown Complex built for corporate visitors and conferences. This purpose-built business hotel is built around a series of conference facilities in what is called the Crown Conference Centre.
The complex’s website boasts an average of 200,000 visitors to the casino and attached mega-structure. Inside the Entertainment Centre, non-gamblers and guests under the age of 18 can play inside the centre’s Galactic Circus, Australia’s biggest indoor theme park. A long list of rides and carnival games are available inside the park. A big draw for the under-18 set is M9 Laser Skirmish, a laser battle simulation game spread across five hundred square metres.
People come for the multiple restaurant offerings, the centre’s five bars spread out over two city blocks, the hourly fire show displayed for both guests and passers-by, and the biggest casino gambling venue in all of Australia. The Crown is one of Melbourne’s (and Australia’s) most-visited tourist destinations, and also the single biggest structure housing traditional casino gambling in the entire nation.