Aside from having some of the country’s best museums, art galleries and scenic spots, Canberra is a fantastic place to try your luck on the pokies. There are many fantastic pubs located throughout the city, and in this article we’ll guide you through our favourites.
Best Online Pokies For Australians
Australia’s capital city of Canberra is located in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory), and while it has one of the country’s smallest urban populations, it’s still a great location for nightlife and the occasional punt.
It doesn’t attract as many tourists as the coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, but due to its large government workforce, it’s well-serviced in the areas of hospitality and culture.
Pokies legislation in the ACT
While there are federal regulations and standards that govern gaming machines, most laws are regulated by individual States and Territories. Laws vary from state to state, so for the average punter visiting a city like Canberra, they may find themselves subject to different restrictions not otherwise in place in their home state. These laws generally relate to maximum bets, the minimum return to player, and even how winnings are paid out to the player.
In the ACT, the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission governs clubs and hotels that offer gambling entertainment. The Commission had originally restricted the existence of pokies inside Casino Canberra, which made it the only gambling venue not to offer them. However, that changed in 2016, with 200 machines added to the gaming floor.
There’s slightly more than 5,200 pokies machines in the ACT, mostly located in Clubs, with a handful (around 70) located in a few Hotels.
There are no 24-hour venues, with all venues required to close for a five-hour period every 24 hours. Winnings over $1,200 are paid by cheque, and machines only accept $5, $10 and $20 notes. The maximum bet is $10, and the minimum RTP on a machine is 87%.
When Casino Canberra opened in the early ’90s, it was one of the more unique casinos in Australia and probably the world. It came under very strict regulations, and as such was not able to offer poker machines to visitors. This pleased clubs and hotels in the ACT, who were able to maintain a monopoly on pokies, which provided most of their business.
The ACT government refused to budge on the restriction, insisting that the city already had one of the highest rates of pokies saturation in Australia: it simply didn’t want to add such a large number of machines to one location when so many other gaming venues already had them.
Once Hong Kong real estate tycoon, Tony Fung and his Aquis Entertainment Group invested in Canberra Casino in 2014, however, everything changed. Fung’s purchase of the casino was on the condition that 200 poker machines were allowed in the casino, and this was approved. While the tourism sector celebrated the decision, citing an increase in gambling tourism to the city, anti-gambling activists as well as pub and club owners hit out, saying the decision would cripple their businesses.
Best pokies at Canberra pubs, clubs and RSLs
The best thing about Canberra’s gambling scene is that, due to the previous monopoly on poker machines, there is no shortage of pubs and clubs to try your luck at. Here are our favourites:
- The RUC: 54 McCaughey St, Turner
- Calwell Club: 1 Were Street, Calwekk
- Canberra Bowling Club: Hobart Ave, Forrest
- Canberra Deakin Football Club: 3 Grose St, Deakin
- Canberra Irish Club: 6 Parkinson St, Weston
- City Labor Club: 6 Petrie Plaza, Canberra
- Canberra Racing Club: 1 Randwick Rd, Lyneham
- Canberra Tradesmen’s Union Club: 1/2-4 Badham St, Dickson
- Civic Pub: 8 Lonsdale St, Braddon
- Eastlake Football Club: 3 Oxley St, Canberra
- Hellenic Club of Canberra: Matilda St, Woden
- Kingston Hotel: 55 Highett St, Richmond
- Mercure Canberra: Corner of Ainslie, and Limestone Avenue, Braddon
- Southern Cross Club: 92-96 Corinna Street, Woden
- Spanish Australian Club: 5 Narupai Pl, Narrabundah
Best alternative pokies in Canberra pubs
It’s been a long trek to glory but online casinos are now one of the most popular ways to gamble. There are literally hundreds of different pokies games available online, from some of the world’s most acclaimed software providers.
The best thing about online pokies is that they can be played anywhere: from your desktop computer, on your laptop, or even on a smartphone and tablet (Android and iOS).
If you’re keen on trying your hand at one of the many fantastic online casinos, check out our favourites below.
Slots Million: This huge online casino offers an amazing 1200 pokies games from the best software providers. What makes Slots Million so great is that it also has niche games from lesser-known but still highly respected software makers. It’s the perfect online casino for Aussie punters looking for a varied selection of online pokies.
House of Jack: House of Jack is one of the most popular new online casinos, and for good reason. They have hundreds of games available from the likes of Microgaming, BetSoft and Quickspin, all of which are industry leaders in online pokies games software.
Joe Fortune: As you might imagine, Joe Fortune is aimed at Australian gamers, with fantastic welcome bonuses on your initial deposit, and a fantastic selection of pokies games from the best software providers.
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