Yarra Promenade, Southbank, Melbourne, Australia
Crown Casino is a large casino and entertainment precinct located on the south bank of the Yarra River, in Melbourne, Australia. Crown Casino is a unit of Crown Limited.
Crown's current casino complex opened in 1997, after moving from its original location from 1994 on the north bank of the Yarra. It is one of the central features of the Southbank area in the central business district and the Crown Promenade fronts onto the waterfront as part of Southbank Promenade. Children under 18 are permitted into the entertainment and shopping section of complex, but not into the gaming area or areas serving alcohol. The entire complex has a space of 510,000 m² which is equivalent to 2 city blocks, making it the largest casino complex in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.
Crown Casino opened in 1994 at the World Trade Centre on the north bank of the Yarra River, moving to the new complex at Southbank in 1997 (where a railway once was that led to St Kilda). Actress Rachel Griffiths infamously ran through the casino topless on its opening night. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day when it is closed from 4AM to midday. It was originally founded, owned and run by Lloyd Williams until the Packer takeover by PBL in 1999. Crown Casino is the largest casino in the southern hemisphere and has a license for 500 table games and 2,500 poker machines.
Amongst other games, Crown provides the 6 main casino games of Blackjack, Craps, Pai Gow, Poker, Baccarat and Roulette (both American and European versions) but it was also the first to introduce an electronic version of Roulette known as Rapid Roulette. Rapid Roulette is essentially the same as traditional roulette but rather than players placing bets on a layout, all gaming takes place on a personal electronic touch screen connected to a central roulette wheel. The purpose of this is to provide the player with easy access to the entire betting layout. Rapid Roulette has been in use for several years, and recently Rapid Bigwheel, Rapid Sic-bo and Rapid Baccarat have been developed. Rapid Sic-Bo is no longer available on the gaming floor. The roulette tables offer both single- and double-zero arrangement, with double-zero wheels being on the majority of lower denomination tables ($2.50 and $5). Rapid Roulette, and most recently, the electronic Vegas Star Roulette, currently use the single-zero variation.
As well as 3 Card Poker on the main gaming floor, Crown has also offers varieties of poker including Texas Hold'em. The Crown Poker Room encompasses a large separate space in the Crown basement.
The Crown is also one of the major centres for competitive poker in the Asia-Pacific region. It annually hosts the Aussie Millions, currently the Southern Hemisphere's richest poker event. Starting in 2013, it will become home to the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific, the latest expansion of the World Series of Poker.
Crown casino has 2,500 poker machines on the casino floor, with values of 1 cent, 2 cent, 3 cent, 4 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent and 1 dollar available. There are also very few 2 & 5 dollar machines located in the VIP areas. Slot machines at Crown are made by Aristocrat, AGT, IGT, Konami and Stargames/Shuffle Master and WMS Gaming, the latter using Shuffle Master machines.
The regulator overseeing the Casino's activities, and to whom grievances can be addressed, is the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation. The VCGR regularly monitors the casino's operations to ensure Crown conforms to Victorian Gambling laws. Crown has been repeatedly charged and fined for minor breaches of the Casino Control Act 1991.The commission has an office located on site which is staffed around the clock.
The Crown Entertainment Complex launched a complex-wide rewards program called "Signature Club" on October 1, 2009. Signature Club members earn points on every dollar spent at most outlets within the Crown complex (including bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants, gaming, shopping and spa). Points are redeemed for goods and services within the complex. The amount of points earned is used to determine Signature Club tier levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Black), with each tier rewarding members with different discounts, offers and entrance to varying VIP areas throughout the complex.
The Crown Entertainment Complex incorporates several nightclubs fusion and CQ,the most popular nightclubs of melbourne , a Village Cinema complex and multiple restaurants, fast food outlets, food courts and shops. The complex also houses "Galactic Circus", an electronic games arcade, laser 'tag' game and bowling alley. Notable features of the casino include its entrance (commonly known as the 'Atrium', featuring stepped fountains and sound/light shows under the themes of the four seasons), and pyrotechnic towers running the length of the Casino promenade. The Casino is home to the luxury mens department store Harrolds and luxury stores including:
- Louis Vuitton
- Omega SA
- Hugo Boss
Crown is home to 3 Hotel towers. Each targeting different demographics.
Crown Towers Crown's 5-star Luxury hotel is "Crown Towers" which is located within Crown Entertainment Complex. It houses 481 rooms & Villas over 38 floors. Located on the banks of the Yarra River it overlooks the city centre, Kings Domain, Port Phillip and Docklands. 31 Villas offer guest unparralled opluence and grandeur exceeding any premium accommodaiton in the world. Crown Towers houses the largest villa in the Southern Hemisphere spanning an entire floor. Crown Towers also has the largest contingent of butlers in Australia
Crown Metropol It is Australia's largest hotel by number of rooms. This 5-star hotel houses 658 rooms across 28 floors. It also houses Australia's first residential Spa on level 27. Like Promenade, Metropol is connected with the Crown Entertainment Complex by a pedestrian overpass passing over Whiteman Street.
Crown Promenade Offering 465 rooms on 23 floors. It is located on the block behind Crown Towers and is connected to the main complex by a pedestrian overpass across Whiteman Street. A lesiure and corporate hotel Crown Promenade also houses Australias only purpose built hotel conference facility the Crown Conference Centre.
Notable Guests at Crown
Notable guests at the Crown Towers, Crown Metropol and Crown Promenade Hotels have included Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Nicole Kidman, Rachel Griffiths, One Direction, Kerry Packer, Tiger Woods and Neil Murray and many other high profile celebrities and politicians.
The Palladium Room
The Palladium at Crown is Melbourne's grandest ballroom, with a seating capacity of 1,700 it has played host to some of Australia's premier functions including the annual TV Week Logie Awards, Brownlow Medal, Allan Border Medal and the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix ball.
Water features and Fire Display
Water features appear both inside and outside the Crown casino complex. They include the Seasons of Fortune, Southern Porte Cochere, Revelry, Brigades and Celebration.
Water veneers the textured granite faces of six towers that are located on a promenade at the Crown Casino along the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia.
At night, spheres of fire issue at choreographed intervals from the tops of the towers. Nine feet in diameter, these pyrotechnics have become an iconic part of Melbourne's nightlife.