1920s gangsters Fina O’Brien and Jason Mackrell, from Brisbane, were greeted at the door by last year’s biggest Casino Night winner Terry (Al Capone) Mackrell

September 4, 2017

Prohibition was temporarily lifted in Nanango on Saturday night as gangsters and flappers took the opportunity to roll the dice and try to emerge the winner of the town’s fourth annual Casino Night.

Last year’s biggest winner Terry Mackrell, cleverly disguised as Al Capone, greeted revellers at the door with a plastic machine gun and posed with all the girls for photos.

“Posing with the girls is a bonus for being last year’s biggest winner,” Terry said.

In all, about 60 revellers packed Taras Hall to spend the night playing casino games on professional tables supplied by BrisVegas, along with friendly professional croupiers who happily explained the rules to newcomers.

Guests could choose from blackjack, roulette, craps, texas hold’em poker or a wheel of fortune for those who preferred more sedate rounds.

Staff from Nanango RSL manned a bar and dispensed finger foods all evening, while Jeff Hancox provided live entertainment.

The evening had a 1920s gangsters theme and was organised by the Nanango Tourism and Development Association (NaTDA) as a fundraiser for RACQ LifeFlight.

NaTDA member Barry Green said a decision to relocate the Casino Night from Nanango’s Cultural Centre to Taras Hall had worked out well.

“It turned out to be a more convenient venue where our guests could sit down in between bursts at the tables, and the RSL did a really great job looking after everybody,” Barry said.

“Everyone I spoke to had a great night, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Terry Mackrell, who emerged as this year’s biggest winner (again) by finishing the evening with $9.6 million in “funny money”, said some people still thought they had to gamble with real money at a Casino Night.

“I have to tell them no, no, no!” Terry said.

“You buy your ticket and get you two free drinks, live entertainment and finger foods all night, and $2000 in funny money to play with.

“The real aim is to experience all the thrills of a night in Las Vegas without any of the financial risks, and because no real money is involved if you get wiped out you haven’t really lost anything at all.

“Then again, my $9.6 million in winnings don’t amount to anything either.

“But the real thrill is the path in between … plus bragging rights afterwards, of course.”

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets … professional croupiers from BrisVegas supplied the night’s casino-standard gaming tables and friendly tuition about how to play them
Flapper Marilyn Newton with Terry Mackrell
Jeff Hancox kept the entertainment rolling
Gypsy King and her mother Kerri both got a squeeze (for luck) from Terry
Rhonda Mackrell and Fina O’Brien
Cr Roz Frohloff dressed as a flapper
NaTDA president Gloria Kirkness and Barry Green dispensed extra funny money for gamblers who were down on their luck … all in a good cause, of course!