Dazzling opening scenes at Tasmania’s plush casino

“Tasmania’s Premier, Mr Reece, sets the ball rolling at Wrest Point. With him are croupier Honey Hogan (left) and tw woman guests.”Credit:Staff photographer

A gate crasher would not have stood a chance against the armour-plated glass and steel mesh curtains surrounding the lower floors, concealed cameras, a fleet of 30 security guards headed by Supervisor Peter Bible, from Melbourne, and more than 60 Tasmanian police guarding the entrances.

The casino includes a 21-storey, 195-bedroom hotel tower with 21 suites, the gaming room, a penthouse, revolving restaurant, a cabaret (night club), a grill room, an indoor heated pool, tennis courts on the waterfront, squash courts, sauna bath and massage room and shopping arcades.

No fortress could be better protected than the casino.

Ceilings in the entrance foyer, the cabaret-restaurant and the casino (gaming room) are covered with concealed cameras.

The concave entrance doors of double reinforced, laminated, tinted glass are operated by electronic “eyes.”

Visitors must pass through a circular lobby, enclosed on two sides by the automatic doors, which are also set with several micro-cameras concealed in the glass and chrome.

A switch inside the building can freeze the doors in locked position instantly.

The two French and four American roulette tables cost $3,000 each.

There are also two dice (craps) tables, eight vingtet-un (black jack) tables, one punto banco table and one chemin-de-fer.

No provision has been made for baccarat, a long-time, if illegal, favourite with Australians.

“A spectacular burst of fireworks behind the Wrest Point Casino during the gala opening celebration last night. ”

“A spectacular burst of fireworks behind the Wrest Point Casino during the gala opening celebration last night. ”Credit:Staff photographer

Tables for punto banco and chemin-de-fer, known as the elite of gambling games, are set in a sunken gazebo at one corner of the casino, divided from the larger area by gold arches.

It is enclosed by a canopy of red velvet and lit by a 2-ton antique chandelier from the old Menzies Hotel, Melbourne.

‘Dry run’

Last night Mr Reece started the gambling with a modest $10 investment.

He made his bets on the French roulette table at a “dry run” when a reception was held for parliamentarians and VIPs.

“I was winning $260 at one stage,” Mr Reece said, “but I finished up losing my $10.

A day of festivities preceded the gala opening.

Some of the events which boosted the carnival atmosphere were:


  • The Royal Hobart Regatta with canoeing, sailing, yachting and rowing events.
  • Parades through the streets.
  • A beauty contest.
  • A bath tub derby.
  • Band displays.
  • Water safety display.
  • Bell ringing.

While guests were taken on inspection tours by hostesses, the chairman of directors of Federal Pacific Hotels, Mr G. Farrell, entertained a small party of VIPs at lunch.

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