In what may be a boost for poker in Australia, hotel and casino company Crown has announced that it has been given the green light to open a new hotel and casino in Sydney.
The new casino is due to be open for business in 2019 and is set to be a VIP-only establishment. Despite that fact, it may still hold professional poker events given its history of holding such events in its Melbourne and Perth casinos.
Crown’s Melbourne casino is undoubtedly the main place in Australia, and possibly the southern hemisphere, for poker. For years it has played host to the Aussie Millions, which has been played by a who’s who of poker professionals, including Gus Hansen, Sorel Mizzi, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and John Juanda.
The casino was also the host of the first ever World Series of Poker (WSOP) Asia Pacific back in April. Players such as Ivey, Antonio Esfandiari, Jonathan Duhamel and Daniel Negreanu (the Main Event winner) entered that event, further showing the Crown’s prowess on the Australian poker scene.
Such a solid reputation in Australian and Asia Pacific poker may be further cemented by the eventual opening of the Sydney hotel and casino. As previously stated, Crown Sydney is set to be open only to ‘VIPs’, which at first glance makes it appear that poker events are less likely to be held there.
This does not neccessarily have to be the case, however. Crown actually gives the company a prime opportunity to cement its poker reputation in its future Sydney establishment. The VIP-only status of its casino puts it in a great position to host High Roller type poker tournaments as well as High Stakes cash games.
It would be a smart and strategic move for Crown if they were to go down this route, as it will give poker players in the Asia Pacific a high stakes alternative to Macau and Singapore. It will also be a strong attraction to professional poker players around the world, who are increasingly playing high roller and high stakes poker events.
Crown would also put itself in a strong position to hold its own poker tour if it wishes, given that it would have Casinos in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney as well as Macau. Holding such an tour would give a further boost to the Asia Pacific’s growing reputation in the poker world.