If you’re looking for something to do once you’ve seen Uluru perhaps a land-based casino in the Territory sounds right up your alley. There are two land-based venues in the Northern Territory with one located in the capital city, Darwin.
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Interestingly, the government cannot approve a license for any new casinos in the Northern Territory without the consent from the operators of these two casino’s.
SkyCity Darwin land-based casino can be found on Mindil Beach and has been operating for over three decades. In this time it has has plenty of names and owners.
The license was first instated in 1979 at the Don Hotel and this was the second casino in Australia to open. It was known as the Don Casino until 1983 when the license was transferred to the Mindle Beach Casino and ran under this name for two years. Then in 1985 the casino was renamed as the Diamond Beach Hotel and Casino and operated under this name due to the ownership of Aspinall.
In 1995 the MGM Grand company purchased the casino and renamed it the MGM Grand Darwin. The casino operated under the name for almost a decade until 2005 when the Skycity Entertainment Group purchased the complex and it was renamed Skycity Darwin – the name, and owners it still has today.
The casino operates under the NT government and has a license which runs until 2031 – a five year extension is also available.
Casino floor and facilities at SkyCity
The casino is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and features over 750 electronic gaming machines, including progressives, and around 26 table games over two levels. Table titles range from blackjack, roulette, poker, and the Money Wheel, but are only open from noon.
The highlight of this casino is NT Keno, which is the only live drawn keno game still available in Australia. It is streamed throughout 70 pubs and clubs in NT and 20 numbers are drawn live from a total of 80. Players can opt in for a minimum of $1 and play up to 40 numbers per game. The numbers are selected by a human dealer drawing them from a cage and there’s around three to five minutes between each game.
We recommend all players join up to the membership program, especially if you plan to be a VIP. The SkyCity Darwin Premier Rewards sees five tiers, similarly to online loyalty programs, including the Sapphire, Diamond, Skyroom Bronze, Skyroom Silver, and Lotus.
The first five tiers can be unlocked by earning points every time you play, while the Lotus level is by invitation only. The points can be redeemed at the bars, restaurants, hotel and more and customisable rewards are created for high rollers.
You can join via the Premier Rewards Desk at the casino, where you will also find over 10 bars and restaurants, luxurious accommodation, and the popular Lagoon Day Spa.
Lasseters Hotel Casino, Alice Springs
The other land-based casino located in the Northern Territory is Lassesters Hotel Casino. It is located in Alice Springs and although it is still a five hour drive from Uluru, it beats the 22 hour drive from Skycity Darwin.
Lasseters was built in 1981, operating as a country club until it was purchased by Lasseters International Holdings Pty Ltd. in 1986 where it was then renamed Lasseters Hotel Casino.
The casino has received a $40 million redevelopment in the last few years, and its license operates under the government which runs until 2031 – with the same five year extension available as Skycity Darwin.
Games on the casino floor at Lasseters
The casino is only open from 9am to 4am, with table games available from 3pm to 3am from Sunday to Thursday and until 4am on Friday and Saturday. There’s a huge range of table games available from blackjack, craps, poker, baccarat, roulette and more. You can opt in for a table game package too, which relies on your status in the membership program, detailed below. Here you can receive bonus cash chips, special food platters and drinks too.
There’s also over 330 electronic gaming machines which can be found operating from the time the casino opens to the time it shuts.
There’s a Sports Lounge found on the gaming floor too, which offers TAB facilities as well as the screening of the live keno from Skycity Darwin. You will also find all the latest sporting and racing events televised here on the 22 screens available including five large sports plasmas.
As we mentioned above, it is highly recommended to join a casino’s membership program to reap the rewards, including special table packages at this casino. Known as Lasseters Rewards, players start at Bronze level and can climb their way up to Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Plus status. The higher the tier you are the better the rewards including free gym membership, taxis, accommodations and more.
Regardless the status you have achieved, members can enter the Diamond Lounge where you will five 54 electronic gaming machines, four tables, and luxurious amenities too.
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