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The tables have turned: Casino Canberra re-launches

Laura Peppas

When stepping into the casinos of Sydney or Melbourne, there’s a sense they are much more than places to enjoy games of chance.

Many of them double as fully integrated tourist destinations; with deluxe restaurants, entertainment, shopping and luxury accommodation, often including some of the best hotel rooms and suites in the country.

Before now, our own Casino Canberra had been – well – at the other end of the spectrum. With a dated interior and underwhelming atmosphere, it was a venue that had seen far better days.

Thankfully, it’s safe to say that’s all changed now after the casino’s $14 million re-launch.

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With a glittering chandelier bar, VIP lounges and a restaurant headed by a team of award-winning chefs, our casino is now holding its own amongst the ranks of Sydney and Melbourne.

At a Casino Royale themed event last night, Aquis Entertainment and COX Architecture launched the refurbished casino for over 600 guests.

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From the first steps through the new entrance, it was pretty clear this was a whole new ball game.

Deep red and gold carpets, sweeping ceilings with intricate detailing and twinkling grand chandeliers instantly brought a sense of old-school grandeur and atmosphere: as you walked down the steps, you couldn’t help but feel like an extra from a ‘Bond’ movie.

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Across the floor, guests mingled between sophisticated gold and white panels and grand columns, while more secluded seating lounges oozed luxe charm. The tired old carpets, John Howard statue and dated bar were already long forgotten.

The general consensus among guests was that it was a place you’d want to spend the evening in, rather than the casino of old, where visiting was more of an afterthought.

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The casino’s new signature restaurant, Natural 9, is also set to be an exciting new player in Canberra’s dining scene. Led by Director of Food and Beverage Chad Ogden and highly regarded Chef de Cuisine David Black, the restaurant will serve modern Australian cuisine with French, American and Asian influences throughout the menu while ‘The Kitchen’ will offer a traditional Asian menu. (Stay tuned for a review on our website next week.)

At the impressive Chandelier Bar, the casino’s skilled mixologists will serve up delectable versions of all the classics as well as tantalising top shelf offerings, while The Onyx Lounge offers a relaxed setting to catch up with friends or kick back after a long day.

The new Chandelier Bar

A new gaming floor and VIP gaming salon are also included in the new offerings, with all new state of the art gaming equipment, including 50 gaming terminals in the first ever live stadium gaming experience in the ACT. A sports bar and The Lotus Room, a new poker lounge, will open upstairs later this month, while the rest is open to the public from today.

Speaking at the event, Aquis Entertainment Executive Director Jessica Mellor said she was proud to be able to deliver on the first part of the company’s vision for a revitalised entertainment offering in the CBD.


“We acquired Casino Canberra because we could see, with the right management and investment, its potential to start to compete with other Australian casinos,” she said.

“The new Casino Canberra has surpassed our own high expectations and I’m confident that it will be seen as an exciting taste of what we hope to deliver as part of our longer term redevelopment plans.”

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the essentials

What: The re-launched Casino Canberra
When: Open to the public from today
Where: 21 Binara St, Canberra City

Photography by Martin Ollman. 

This is a sponsored post but all opinion’s are the author’s own. View our sponsored post policy here. Gamble responsibly.  If gambling is a problem call ACT Gambling and Support Service at 1800 858 858.


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author

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