Howdy all. Last week I presented my latest vlog on YouTube, which took me to Melbourne’s Crown Casino. I thought it would be a good chance to reflect on the place a little and share a bit more about it.
I’d hoped to do a vlog at the casino since last year. I tried to get some friends together to come with me and originally I was going to go at night, but sadly frequent attempts to get it together and happening all failed – and there were quite a few! In the end I decided to go during the day time and Adrian was up for it.
Sadly we didn’t time it quite right, we walked around the casino filming stopping at all the restaurants as we did for comments – we certainly shot a lot more than I used in the final edit. By the time we were ready to sit down for a meal, well, we found all the restaurants closed for afternoon cleaning – it was 230pm. So in the end we had to go with the food court.
If you’ve seen the video, you know that we regretted eating in the food court. Adrian had some awful Chinese food which he threw 90% of out in the rubbish bin. My pork sandwich was cold, and afterwards I definitely had digestion issues. The food court was a bit lifeless. It was a weekday and so the casino was not at its bustling brightest although in the gaming halls there were still plenty of people.
Over the last few years Crown, who owns not only the Melbourne Casino but others in Australia has come under close scrutiny and indeed criminal investigation. Amongst the charges/allegations are several of not complying with money-laundering laws, so it’s all pretty serious and I think some of the casinos (perhaps one in Sydney?) lost its licence or they were ordered to sell because of what has been going on. Casinos I guess have a reputation for not being the most legal of businesses and being a centre for organised crime. Then there is the treatment of the workers there as well.
Putting all that aside though, as although I’ve read a few articles and seen a few news clips about Crown, I don’t know what’s happened in depth, they still own and operate Crown Casino Melbourne which is where I went and a place that is considered by many as the number one entertainment venue in Melbourne’s CBD. It is a multi-building affair in a wonderful spot on the southbank of the Yarra (this area is known as, FYI, ‘Southbank’).
Inside the complex, with a generous amount of parking, are hotels, boutique shops, nightclubs, restaurants, bowling, theatres, theatre restaurants, a rubbish food court and more – including the gaming floors where you have what we call ‘pokies’ or ‘pokie machines’, but are more commonly known outside Australia as ‘slot machines’ or in Eastern Europe and I think from memory parts of Asia, ‘Pachinko’. Then there are tables where poker, baccarat, keno and roulette are the main features. Black Jack as well.
It’s an incredible complex hence it seemed a must that I visit for a vlog, and for starters you do get a bit dazzled by the glitz and glamour of the place. Literally dozens of restaurants, some of the finest in town did we walk past before it was too late and we ate our rubbish food. We saw the hotel lobby, which is about the fanciest I’ve been in in Australia if not ever, and finally we tried the pokies in the gaming hall.
I was prepared to have to shoot on my mobile phone, to be as sneaky as possible as I was worried on the floor they wouldn’t allow cameras. Several comments on the video show viewers were surprised too that I was able to do that. But actually I was not approached at any point by security. Perhaps it was obvious I was up to no harm, maybe the camera (I put away the selfie stick) was so small it was barely noticeable. There were signs up saying that personal camera use was allowed. Anyways, I walked the hall with the camera – I admit I was discreet at all times – and used it when shooting the pokie machines.
I am not someone who is particularly pro-gambling I must say. I think that it’s a pretty dodgy way to convince people to part with their money and clearly there are a lot of people who get addicted to it and it ruins not only their lives but those of their families as well. On top of places like the casino, here in sport in Australia the advertising during games is next level right now and I personally believe there needs to be something done about it. That will only happen when the political will exists in sufficient mass though. Still, sport used to be sponsored by cigarette companies and alcohol manufacturers and today, by neither.
There is a difference between people having fun on a night out, and people with serious problems. And I saw both on my short visit to the casino a couple of months back now. I went in there with $20 and when it was gone, so was I. It was for the purpose of my video, but still I felt like it was something of a waste – and I used it on two machines, $10 each, and neither ten bucks lasted longer than 8 minutes (I only included one on the video) so it all seemed rather pointless to me.
All in all, I went into the casino thinking I would have fun, but I left in a different frame of mind disappointed by the food and my lack of luck on the machines, which I was prepared on I should add. Crown Casino, like many if not most, is designed to sparkle and amaze you. But I can’t help but think that when you take away the glitz and sparkle, there’s not so much left.
Can you have a fun time there? Of course you can! And I hope to try a night at the hotel there one day, maybe next year. We will see! Thanks for reading today, and of you have any thoughts, I would love a comment or two! May the Journey Never End!