The Barangaroo Casino – Will Only High Rollers Get a Go?

Collaboration with Sunil Singh


Crown Sydney Barangaroo casino and hotel is expected to open its doors for customers in 2020. This destination will be the second legal casino in Sydney and the project has been controversial ever since it was announced to the public several years ago. With a magnificent futuristic design, this six-star property will surely become one of the most recognisable buildings in the city once its 75 floors occupy the bright Sydney sky. Owned by experienced businessman James Packer and his well-established casino group Crown Limited, Barangaroo casino certainly won’t disappoint visitors.

However, unlike The Star, which is the first licensed casino in Sydney, it was reported that Barangroo will operate with VIP membership restrictions. This disappointed casual players who enjoy placing low bets at land-based gaming destinations or spinning the reels of this always entertaining free online pokies. Those hoping that the property featuring 300 rooms and suites, apartments, bars, restaurants, shops and conference facilities also would have space for low and medium rollers may need to give up their hopes, considering the fact that only VIP gaming rooms are mentioned in the A$1+ billion project.

The Barangaroo Casino 1

According to statements and reports, Packer’s intention was to create one of the world’s best hotels on his luxury property. However, in terms of gaming, Crown would like to lure Chinese high-roller gamblers after their interest in Macau has dropped thanks to the Chinese government’s crackdown on corruption. VIP gamblers have been scared and reluctant to go back to the once magnificent gambling hub and that was seen as a real opportunity by the reputable gaming group. Taken into account that the Australian government has introduced a streamlined visa process for Chinese visitors, the plan seems pretty realistic for now.

Nonetheless, it’s a known fact that luxury and VIP gaming rarely goes hand in hand with low stake gaming. Therefore, it’s easy to conclude that the magnificent building won’t have any services reserved for players who aren’t ready to spend a significant amount of money on the casino floor or, more precisely, in the exclusive VIP gaming lounges.

The Barangaroo Casino 2

In a text published back in 2012, the Daily Telegraph revealed that Packer’s new establishment would feature “only” 150 tables. This is half the number of tables featured at The Star, suggesting that the customers will be handpicked. The brand new casino is going to be “invitation only” and its target group are wealthy Asian gamblers. Passers-by won’t be able to simply access the building and try their luck at the glamorous property. Additionally, it was revealed that poker machines won’t be featured at the casino and these are widely known as low and medium rollers’ favourite games.

Even if all these signs are put aside, when Packer first presented the proposal to the authorities he promised around A$114 million in gaming tax revenue per year. That’s certainly not an amount of cash that casual gamblers can generate; for high-rollers, on the other hand, that’s an easy target. Therefore, unless something changes in the future, low stake players should forget about the Barangaroo casino and find alternative ways to entertain themselves.