One of Australia’s biggest publicly listed gambling companies was split in two during June. Tabcorp Holdings Ltd, which had owned and operated four casinos as well as various other parimutuel, fixed odds betting, slot and keno activities, spun off its casino business. Tabcorp continues to offer betting, keno and slot machines while a new company, Echo Entertainment Ltd now owns and operates the four casinos.
So, I thought it might be useful to summarise the Australian and New Zealand casino industry. Who owns what? And what do they offer?
There are 13 casinos in Australia and six in New Zealand as follows:
New South Wales
One casino in Sydney called “Star City” operated by Echo Entertainment. It has no limit on the number of tables allowed, but operates about 250. It has 1,500 slot machines and over 650 hotel rooms. It has a major theatre (the Lyric Theatre) and is currently being substantially expanded and renovated.
One casino in Melbourne called “Crown” operated by Crown Ltd. It has a limit of 400 tables plus 100 poker tables, but currently operates about 350 in total. It has 2,500 slot machines and three separate hotels with a total of about 1,600 rooms. It also has a variety of restaurants, shops, conference facilities and so on.
Four casinos as follows:
- One casino in Brisbane called “Treasury Casino” (because it is housed in the former offices of the Queensland Treasury) operated by Echo Entertainment. It has 80 tables, 1,300 slot machines and 130 hotel rooms.
- One casino in Gold Coast called “Jupiters Gold Coast” operated by Echo Entertainment. It has 70 tables, 1,300 slot machines and nearly 600 rooms. It is also opposite the major convention facility.
- One casino in Cairns called “Reef Casino” operated by Casinos Austria. It has 42 tables, 530 slots and about 120 hotel rooms.
- One casino in Townsville called “Jupiters Townsville” operated by Echo Entertainment. It has 20 tables, 320 slot machine and just under 200 hotel rooms.
One casino in Adelaide called, not surprisingly, “Adelaide Casino” operated by SkyCity. Similar to Brisbane’s casino it is housed in an historic building (in this case, the former headquarters of the railways). It has 100 tables, 1,000 slots but no hotel – although there are hotels directly across the road.
One casino in Perth called “Burswood Entertainment Complex” operated by Crown Ltd. It has approval for 220 tables and 2,000 slot machines and offers 170 hotel rooms. However, due to Government restrictions, the gaming machines are not spinning reel type and must be based on casino style games (eg, poker, keno and roulette). It also houses a huge convention facility which is also used to host entertainment.
Two casinos as follows:
- One casino in Hobart called “Wrest Point” which is operated by Federal Hotels Group. It is Australia’s oldest (legal) casino, having opened in 1973. It has 24 tables, 700 slot machines and 270 hotel rooms.
- One casino in Launceston called “Launceston Country Club” operated by Federal Hotels Group. It has 11 tables, 500 slot machines and 130 hotel rooms.
Two casinos as follows:
- One casino in Darwin called “SkyCity Darwin” which is operated by SkyCity and has 28 tables, 750 slot machines and 120 hotel rooms.
- One casino in in Alice Springs called “Lasseters” which is now the only single site casino business in Australia. It has 17 tables, 300 slots and 140 hotel rooms, although Lasseters also operates a casino in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Australian Capital Territory
One casino in Canberra called “Canberra Casino” which is operated by Casinos Austria and has 47 tables but no slot machines and no hotel rooms.
There are six casinos in New Zealand as follows:
- One in Auckland called “SkyCity Casino” which is operated by SkyCity. It has 1,647 slot machines and 110 tables
- One in Hamilton called “SkyCity Hamilton” which, not surprisingly is operated by SkyCity. It has 3 tables and 339 slot machines
- Two in Queenstown, with one called Sky Alpine Queenstown Casino which is operated by SkyCity which has 12 tables and 86 slots and the other called “Lasseters Wharf Casino” which has 7 tables and 75 slot machines
- One in Dunedin called “Dunedin Casino” which has seven tables and 180 slot machines
- One in Christchurch called “Christchurch Casino” which has 34 tables and 500 slot machines
So, in summary, there are 19 casinos in Australia and New Zealand run by fewer operators than there are regulators.