Star Casino

Star Casino, Sydney

Star Casino is the proposed name for what is currently The Star City Casino.

Star City Hotel and Casino (formerly Sydney Harbour Casino) is a hotel and casino in Pyrmont, Sydney, Australia. Fronting onto Darling Harbour, Star City features two gaming floors, eight bars, seven restaurants, three hundred and fifty one hotel rooms and one hundred and thirty serviced and privately owned apartments. Two theatres adjoin the complex, the Lyric Theatre and the brand new Star Theatre.

Star City is the only legal casino in Sydney. The gaming operations are overseen and controlled by the New South Wales Casino Control Authority and is licenced to be the only legal casino in New South Wales until September 13 2007 when the restriction will be reviewed. Early suggestions are that Tabcorp will be offered the state casino monopoly for a further 10 years as studies reveal that the NSW economy will not be able to sustain two casinos.

The prospect of a second casino in the state has returned according to a Sydney Morning Herald article, outlining talks between the NSW premier Morris Iemma and Hong Kong businessman Stanley Ho.

Gaming Areas

The casino features two gaming floors - the main gaming floor on level one for general entry and the Endeavour Room on level three. The Endeavour Room table bet ranges from $25 to $75,000 and the Endeavour Room also contains the Inner Sanctum, with table bet ranges of $100 to $200,000. The two areas are only available to high rollers and international guests following an application for membership and review by Star City management. The Inner Sanctum pits are frequently used for junket players. Star City returned to junket play in 2005 after taking a number of large losses in 2002.

General entry to Star City's main gaming floor is free of charge to persons over 18 years of age, suitably dressed and providing they are not subject to a current exclusion order preventing entry to the casino. Patrons entering the casino may be required to provide valid identification to either prove their age or to cross check against the exclusion list. Valid identification include most photo identification cards, passports or driving licences.

Recent rebuilding works have added extra gaming areas for the main gaming floor with the addition of the Oasis Lounge and the 36 Degrees Bar although these new areas have not increased the amount of tables or machines available in total.

The main gaming floor is divided into three major parts - Table Games, Electronic Gaming, and Poker. The amount of poker tables has been steadily increased by Star City management and now stands at 14 tables.

A development application has been approved by the City of Sydney (D/2006/1611) for extension work to the Endeavour Room. When completed, this work will add four additional private gaming rooms and extra amenities. The extension will cover the area formerly used by Al Porto restaurant. These extensions have an estimated cost of $6,664,738.

At the beginning of the works, heavy rain managed to penetrate through the upper levels and cause a ceiling collapse on the gaming floor. There was one reported injury to a gaming staff member before the area was cordoned off. Further leaks on the 9th of July caused damage to two sets of escalators.

Table Games

Star City provides many traditional casino games to patrons, including mini baccarat, blackjack, Caribbean Stud, craps, Pai Gow, poker, Pontoon, roulette, rapid roulette, Sic Bo, Three card poker, and Four-Card Poker.

Two-Up was available at Star City but was removed at the end of October 2003 as the game was not considered to be economically viable. The pit typically required three dealers and two games supervisors, consequently management felt that returns were not as high as they could be and with Tabcorp insisting on large reductions in overheads, this iconic game was closed.

In December 2005, a new game Double-Chance was trialed but was discontinued soon after; Players, referring to the games high house advantage, dubbed the game 'No-Chance'.

At the end of 2006, Star City introduced a new game, three card baccarat, following minor reorganization of its main gaming floor in preparation for the smoking ban in July 2007 and planned extensions to its gaming floors. Again this game was removed from the floor shortly after due to lack of interest from players.

Electronic Gaming

Star City provides a selection of electronic gaming machines, including slot machines, bingo, rapid roulette and video poker machines. Rapid Big Wheel was introduced in early 2006 to replace the often slow paced table game version, which has now been reintroduced, and the Rapid Big Wheel removed in August 2007. Star City has just over 1490 electronic cheese machines but is limited to a maximum 1500.

Rules and Etiquette

* Cameras and mobile phones are not allowed at the gaming tables. Patrons are asked not to take photographs within the casino gaming area but security staff are understanding and are not permitted to insist photographs be deleted
* In Blackjack and Pontoon, players are required to show a clear hand signal to indicate hit and stand as verbal announcements are not valid. Hit is motioned as a tap on the table, while stand is indicated by waving the air in a "go away" motion.
* In games where playing cards are used, the player is not allowed to touch the cards once the hand has commenced (except for Caribbean Stud, Poker, and Three-Card Poker). An exception to this rule applies in the Endeavour Room where mini baccarat players take great delight in slowly folding up a corner of their cards while willing on the number they need.
* In Pai Gow and Caribbean Stud, speaking in languages other than English is prohibited. Specifically, any discussion at all is not allowed, though rarely enforced unless the discussion is directly related to the hand.
* Tipping gaming workers or other staff displaying a gold identification tag is not permitted. It is acceptable, however to tip waiters, bar staff, cleaners or any other staff member providing good service. The gold tag (or 'gold licence' issued by the Casino Control Authority to the employee after a records and background check) indicates that this employee has been deemed to be a responsible and trustworthy person to deal with cash, gaming chips and gaming equipment. By refusing to allow tips to gold licenced staff, the CCA feels it has further increased the integrity of the casino's operations, reducing the possibility of collusion or bribery.
* Star City has a very relaxed dress code, with smart casual being acceptable. Unacceptable dress include dirty or torn clothing (including any trendy type ripped jeans), beach wear (including bikinis), thongs (as in the footwear, flip flops) and track suit style trousers after 7 pm. Singlets (AKA muscle vests or wife beaters) are not permitted on males but are considered acceptable on females.
* Hats are not permitted on the main gaming floor except for religious or medical purposes. An exception is allowed in the Poker Pit area where poker players can wear hats to contribute to their perceived image.
* Backpacks and luggage are not permitted on the gaming floor and patrons are directed to the only operational cloakroom by the taxi rank. Non members are charged $2 to cloak items, effectively making this a cover charge. It should be noted that large hand bags are permitted.

Pop Culture

The first 12 episodes of Australian TV Series Joker Poker was filmed in a private gaming room at the casino. The game was dealt by experienced Star City croupiers.


September 14 2007 - $10 gaming chips introduced

August 2006 - Baccarat Perfect Pairs replaced by Dragon Bonus

January 2006 - Table Game Four-Card Poker introduced

January 2006 - Table Game Big Wheel replaced by Rapid Big Wheel

December 2005 - Table Game Double-Chance trialed and removed later that month

2000 - $500 chips were removed from the casino after fraudulent chips found under the sea in. Some chips did make their way into the bank due to limited security features on the chips.

December 1999 - TabCorp bid for Star City, eventually succeeding

October 1999 - Harrahs acquire Star City

November 27th 1997 - Permanent Star City Casino established

September 13th 1995, 6pm - Temporary Casino Opened

1994 - Casino licence granted to Sydney Harbour Casino Pty Ltd (operations managed by Showboat) (Credit: Wikipedia)


Star City Casino official website


Star City Casino