Casino 21 celebrates 30th Anniversary

Not many businesses can lay claim to 30 years or more of hospitality operations in Vanuatu, and when you do think of long term businesses, places like La Houstalet traditionally spring to mind.

However, Casino 21 has also rightly earned its place amongst the few longstanding institutions here after reaching its milestone 30 years of service to the community this month.

It started out as a much smaller pokies venue called “Club 21” back in 1992 that over the years slowly grew in size and scope.

In 2009, it welcomed low minimum table games such as Roulette, Blackjack and Poker to complement their 1vt slot machines so that it’s geared more toward providing fun for guests, rather than trying to win or lose millions like casinos overseas

When it came under the guidance in more recent times of veteran casino boss, Shaun “Mack” McNamara, it continued to diversify further to achieve his goal of having more of an overall entertainment focus, and with the opening of the all new popular “Twenty-One Bar” it now operates a total of three bars over two air-conditioned floors with both inside seating and an outdoor balcony area with sunset views over Port Vila bay.

More parking was also added with the old Cine Hickson building next door taken over and turned into a large floodlit carpark to provide more convenience for guests and counter the shrinking number of carparks available through town when going for a night out.

With extensive renovations throughout the building right down to the new carpet, and additions such as a pool table, dart boards, eight big screen surround TV’s with music videos and sports, and all while decreasing some drink prices to make them some of Port Vila’s best, Mack says that his goal was to make the casino somewhere everyone could go to for an affordable and fun time where you didn’t need to gamble to have a great night out.

It’s now becoming more of a central place for friends and loved ones to catch up and stay up to date with the latest music videos and have a drink that can go right through till late into the morning, and where playing games was just one option of many, much like the bigger casinos overseas. In 2018, it rebranded as “Casino 21” to better reflect its new diversity and focus on entertainment after having come so far from the humble pokies only venue it started out as all those years ago.

Mack says the changes weren’t just in the décor though, as he also believes that operators have a moral responsibility to accept a stronger “duty of care” in providing a clean, modern, safe and responsible environment for its guests, so the casino has more than doubled its security team throughout his time while also heavily concentrating on both security training and “Responsible Service of Alcohol” training for all staff to ensure guests don’t have to worry.

“I want to provide a venue that my own daughter or wife would feel comfortable and safe going to regardless of whether it’s at 1pm in the afternoon or 1am in the morning,” says Mack.

“We’ve even put on female security officers so that young girls and women have someone they may feel is more approachable if they have any concerns.”

But he assures that the improvements for their guests won’t stop just because they’ve reached 30 years in the community.

All new commercial air conditioning is currently being installed as part of their anniversary celebrations and Vanuatu’s first “non-smoking” gaming room is also being built to house many of the new games coming throughout this year.

And as part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations this month, Casino 21 is giving away great prizes four times a day including Air Vanuatu domestic flights, Samsung Smart TV’s and phones, and up to 100,000vt in cash every day throughout January.

Congratulations to Casino 21 on achieving such a huge milestone, and we wish them another 30 more years.