In the 1960’s, Australia was becoming one of the most divisive countries in its history. It was a time when women were gaining more presence in the workplace, civil rights movements were at an all-time high, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were slowly becoming legally recognised again. So, of course, this was also the time when gambling would become legally recognised. What better way to introduce it than through the first casino in Australia, the Wrest Point Hotel Casino, in 1968?
This became Australia’s first legal casino in Australia. You can still find the casino to this day, located on the shore of River Derwent, Sandy Bay. 1959 was the official year the land was purchased. Construction on this octagonal tower only finished in 1973. The Wrest Point Hotel Casino was up to 17 stories with a 60-meter height. This still stands now as one of the tallest buildings in Hobart. Despite being Australia’s first legal casino, it also mainly serves as a luxury resort hotel. The top of the floor itself houses a revolving door restaurant looking over the seaside.
ABC Australia did two news reports on the Wrest Point Hotel Casino. The first story was when the Federal Hotels consortium tried to gain its gambling license. Without it, they wouldn’t even become Australia’s first legal casino. The second story followed the grand opening, with over $50000 being unloaded into the casino almost daily. The general public had never been more excited at the prospect of real legal gambling, especially with so much money up for grabs.