When in Melbourne, how could I not go take a gander at the Crown Casino, the casino and entertainment precinct on the south bank of the Yarra River, said be to attracting on average 16 million visitors a year (!!!!!)
This is specially when it was just a short tram ride from Prahran where I was staying.
And so it was, the day after LW left for Nagambie to be with her Oz friends, TK and I decided to head for South Bank and Crown, tho with a long break first at the Blue Train which serves an extensive and ecclectic menu abt which TK sang her praise; adding that the founder was originally a vegetarian.
We managed to finish a bottle of wine between us, because as TK said, it made sense to order a bottle @ AUD28 when a glass cost AUD7 and each of us was bound to drink more than one glass.
Then we took our slow leisurely stroll to the casino and truthfully, there wasn’t a jostling crowd to beat us there.
So I don’t know where they got the 16 million figure from, considering it’s almost double the tourist numbers pouring into Singapore annually.
The entrance to the casino wasn’t glam. In fact at that time of night — around 9.30pm, there was only a small door that let us in.
I’m not a casino connoiseur and my knowledge abt the facility is gleaned mainly by my nodding acquaintance with what’s available at Genting (many years since I’ve been) and the occasional 4-day cruise on the Superstar Virgo plus a hurried foray to Macau earlier this year to sample the Venetian and Sands.
I found Crown to be no great shakes and Genting, from past memory, comes off only slightly a shade worse while the Virgo’s grand reception hall in my opinion holds its own very well, thank you.
Sands in Macau would run neck and neck while the Venetian is much larger and grander. At both Sands and Crown, the slot machines in the public area could be found quickly beyond the entrance while at the Venetian, we quickly got lost and distracted by the restuarants and shops and were side-tracked for a long while over a meal.
Yet the end result of these land-based casinos was that I lost money quickly at their slot machines, the only type of gambling I do, other than the occasional shot at roulette when I can squeeze a space at the table.
Also at Crown, with TK dashing in and out to “have a quick smoke”, I just couldn’t concentrate and despite wandering from a 5-cent slot to a 2-cent slot, I lost AUD30 in less than an hour! It took double that time to lose HK$100 at Macau.
One final surprise: TK took a picture of me at the slots, something that wasn’t allowed at Genting or the Virgo, the security was so tight and menacing. I can’t remember whether photo-taking was allowed in Macau but LW didn’t snap me, for sure.
So, here is the AUD30 souvenir, ta-ta-ta-ta!