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The Australian Capital Territory (commonly known as ACT) is the smallest subdivision in Australia, although it may be the most significant on a national scale. Canberra, being the seat of the federal government and the national capital, is the location of the Australian Parliament. The city is home to the majority of the territory’s population; nonetheless, it is home to a relatively small number of residents (385,00), making it a hub for economic development. The Australian Capital Territory is entirely included inside New South Wales, yet it is managed as a (largely) separate area.
The capital is also essential to the growth and regulation of the gambling sector in this country. Despite its tiny size, changes to legislation in this territory often resonate across the country, and anything approved by the Australian Parliament may instantly alter the nation’s environment. The same can be said for land-based enterprises, as opinions about pokies, horse racing, and other activities evolve, as well as the online casino industry, where fresh evaluations of outdated regulations have the potential to create significant disruptions.
Small Territory with Significant Gaming Footprint
Given the tiny area of the ACT, one would expect a dearth of gaming options; after all, it would be extremely simple to drive to New South Wales and satisfy one’s betting needs there. But like every other state and territory in the nation, including Queensland, the government has been conscious of the cash that can be generated by embracing the gaming sector, and gamblers have access to a wide variety of alternatives.
The Casino Canberra is clearly the epicenter of the activity. It is the only land-based gambling resort developed in the ACT, starting in 1992 (albeit the present, permanent site did not open until 1994) after permission was granted by the Federal Government and retaining a monopoly ever since.
This venue has a few peculiarities that distinguish it unique from the majority of Australian casinos. First, it is the only resort of its kind in the nation without a license to run pokies. There are 39 table games, including baccarat and blackjack, and a somewhat sizable poker area that provides cash games and tournament play. In addition, there is a TAB sports room where guests may place wagers. Additionally, poker machines may be introduced in the future, pending the ability to get licenses to host the games.
Regarding these licenses, there are several slot machines located elsewhere in the ACT. As is the case across the nation, several clubs and hotels provide gaming machines, with the area presently providing a total of 5,200 poker machines, virtually all of which are located in different clubs. Even though games are permitted to be active for 19 hours per day and the highest wager per spin is $10, most players may still enjoy the full pokies experience at a local club.
ACT residents may play the lottery via the New South Wales Lotteries, which are operated by Tattersall’s, as are almost all other lotto games in the nation (or Tatts). These include syndicated versions of national lotteries such as Oz Lotto and Powerball, as well as the three weekly lotteries conducted by the New South Wales on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, which are also accessible across the majority of the country.
The Canberra Racing Club, the biggest organization of its kind in the region, dominates horse racing in the territory. The area is not recognized for staging races of national or international significance, but Thoroughbred Park has a packed schedule of events. The Black Opal Stakes, a Group 3 race for two-year-old horses, is perhaps the most well-known event conducted at this track. Historically, the ACT also permitted greyhound racing, but as we’ll explore later, recent events have made it almost clear that the sector will no longer be permitted here in the near future.