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From Down Under

by Brian Carden

Carden - From Down Under, August, 2000

Australian Casino - Part 1

The first casinos I would like to mention in this tour of Australia's casinos are the four in Queensland, which is the upper most State of Australia. We have six States & two territories that make up this Great Southern Land called Australia.

Queensland has the most casinos of any state or territory, and as you come down the coast you will find; The Sheraton Breakwater, The Reef, The Treasury & Conrad Jupiters.

The Sheraton Breakwater Casino
This is the smallest of the four casinos that hug the majestic coastline of Queensland. The Breakwater has about 32 tables, only 274 gaming machines (slots). There is also $1 & $2 progressive jackpots on video poker.

In December of 1997 they finished a $12 million refurbishment of the complex, adding new bars, retaurants & a state of the art air conditioning & quality system throughout. It is also rumored to be the first fully themed casino in Australia. Unfortunately my information does not mention the different themed areas of the casino, although I do believe that The Stateroom (high rollers) has higher minimums on table games; Roulette, Pai Gow, Blackjack & Baccarat. A higher dress code also applies to The Stateroom than in the casino. However, The Stateroom, unlike other high roller rooms elsewhere, is open to everyone.

The Sheraton attracts close to 2500 visitors per day.

The Reef Casino
This casino is situated in Cairns, which is more famous for it's big marlin fishing & the Great Barrier Reef, where hence this casino got it's name.

Back in 1997 the Australian Tourism Group & the Malaysian casino operator Metroplex were trying to take over the purchase of the license from Casinos Austria. It was in July of that year that the new owners took over.

The Reef is comprised of 128 hotel suites, restaurants, coffee shop, and a rooftop cafe. The facility has it's own private fitness centre & a nightclub appointed with lush tropical gardens. With approximately 540 gaming machines and 50 gaming tables attracts some 4000 visitors per day.

The table games played at The Reef are Blackjack, Roulette, & Sic-Bo. The casino also runs the Money Wheel & the popular Australian game Two-Up (which I will talk more about when I get to my home town).

The Treasury Casino
This beautiful casino opened it's doors in April 1995. It is situated in the centre of one of Australia's most elegant cities Brisbane and is housed in the old Treasury building. Located on George Street The Treasury Casino is not far from the beautiful Brisbane River which separates the North & South sides of town.

It's owner, Conrad Hilton, did an excellent job with the decor & what they were able to work with since the building is listed as a National Heritage. It has been a few years since I was in this casino but, from memory, when you enter through the Queen Street entrance there is a beautiful black marble floor & an elegant timber staircase that leads up to where the high rollers play. Unlike the Sheraton Treasury these high roller rooms are for VIP'S & Invitation only.

The Treasury Casino has about 100 gaming tables which include; 45 Blackjack, & 20 Roulette tables. Spread out over two floors the casino also offers Two-Up, Sic-Bo, Conrad's Money Wheel, Caribbean Stud Poker, Baccarat, and some 1,150 slot machines. Approximately 12,000 visitors pass through the casino's solid teak doors each day.

Hotel Conrad & Jupiters Casino
This Hotel casino opened in 1986 and is located on a small Broadbeach Island along Queensland's wonderful Gold Coast. Beautiful one day & perfect the next.

Jupiters is Australia's third largest casino, with approximately 110 gaming tables of which 20 are Roulette plus some 1000 slot machines which cater to 16,000 visitors per day.

Jupiters run several Blackjack Tournaments every year. Back in July of 1995 they ran the "War of Nerves" Tournament & in November of that same year the "Ultimate Challenge".

Jupiters' high roller room is called "Club Conrad", and is decorated throughout with luxurious marble. Betting ranges from $50 minimum into the thousands.

The table games are the same as The Treasury's, and they have some very fine restaurants. Although until last year two of the restaurants, Zen's & Adiamo's did not provide non-smoking areas, which I suppose might upset some patrons.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of Queensland casinos. I'll introduce you to Sydney & Canberra as the next casinos in the series.

Take Care.

Brian Carden, R-4575

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