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Count Your Winnings: The Four Giant Casinos of Australia

Where: Australia
December 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM | by | ()

Travelers are flocking to Australia to do more than pet a kangaroo or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. Apparently the majority of tourists are going Down Under to scream "Winner, winner, Chicken Dinner!" Yeah, we're talking about placing big bets.

Gambling and casinos are legal in Australia and the pastime has become part of the fabric of the culture. Think of it as a smaller-scaled Vegas, but an entire country. Just like their counterparts in the US desert, many casinos in Oz are mega-resorts that attract the entire family, but with areas dedicated to high-rollers wanting more than the thrill of winning (or losing).

· Melbourne's Crown Casino is a jewel in the —well—crown of Aussie casinos, so its name fits. Super large and opulent with plenty of options to win big, this casino is on par with the best in the world. Boasting three hotels, high-end shopping, nightly fire shows and top-notch restaurants (NOBU & Rockpool to name a few), it's no wonder why this place attracted just under 11 million visitors in 2010.

· Across the country, Perth has its own Crown Casino with a brand new hotel and massive entertainment district. With some of the same features as its Melbourne cousin, the West Coast casino features an ISIKA Spa and plenty of options for theater and concerts if gambling is not in your cards.

· Sydney plays host to The Star casino located in the historic Pyrmont. The 24-hour gaming house has signature restaurants like Momofuku and Luke Nguyen's Fat Noodle. If one casino is just not enough, there's been talk about adding the nation's third Crown Casino here.

· Jupiter's on the Gold Coast is a fixture for the glitter strip. Housed in a futuristic building that is slightly reminiscent of Luxor in Vegas, the casino and hotel offers visitors a way to win big or relax around the pool.

Along with slot-machine rooms in pubs and Veteran clubs, not only do casinos play a significant roll in Aussie tourism, they are often frequented by locals. Join in for a game of "pokies" and win back the money spent on your flight to AUS.

[Photo: Long Zheng/flickr]

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