Opened in 1997, the Crown Casino is currently the largest casino in the southern hemisphere. It's part of the wider Crown Entertainment Complex that has several nightclubs, two five-star hotels, and a luxury shopping arcade. The complex dominates the Melbourne skyline on the south side of the Yarra River, and is the most recognisable feature of the Southbank area.
Two icons command the heart of the complex; the five-star Crown Metropol is Australia's largest hotel while the adjacent Crown Towers spreads over 38 floors. Stepped fountains and light shows mark the entrance to the casino and interconnecting air-conditioned corridors link the various sections of the complex.
The casino can be accessed via a pedestrian walkway along the Southbank. This is a 10-minute journey from Flinders Street Railway Station on the opposite side of the river. Regular trams stop at Casino/MCEC/Clarendon St beside the entertainment complex and there is both valet and multi-storey parking available.
Since its opening, the casino complex has only closed for 24 hours a year, from 4am until midday on Christmas Day, Good Friday, and Anzac Day. A huge range of celebrities are reputed to have stayed at the hotels, including high profile tennis players who use the hotels' rooftop practice courts.