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The New South Wales north coast town of Casino on the Richmond River was inhabited by the Bundjalung Aboriginal people before white settlement came to the region in the mid 1800s. Despite an expedition into the Richmond River region by explorer Allan Cunningham in the 1820s, it would be ambitious cedar cutters who would open up the Richmond Valley to further settlement by establishing camps alongside the River in the late 1830s.
Henry Clay and George Stapleton had the first land grant in the region made to them in the late 1830s and established a cattle run on their property which they named 'Cassino' after the Italian town of Monte Cassino. The town takes its name from this first property and although originally following the Italian spelling, over the years the extra 's' has been dropped. The cedar industry proved to be the most lucrative in Casino's early years with a timber trade with Sydney established soon after the cedar cutters arrived, yet despite these early successes the nascent township known as 'The Falls' remained relatively small.
At the recommendation of New South Wales surveyor General Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1855 a town centre was surveyed for the Richmond Valley and The Falls was renamed Casino after Clay and Stapleton's estate. With the larger land blocks subdivided and the Robertson Lands Act coming into effect six years later, population in the region would increase dramatically and soon Casino was competing with Lismore for the title of the region's largest town.
Since settlement Casino and the surrounding districts have supported a flourishing cattle farming industry that has continued to grow and provide the backbone for the local economy. As the self-proclaimed 'Beef Capital' of Australia the town holds Beef Week celebrations yearly in late May to commemorate the contribution of the industry to the town. Despite the 2007 celebrations cancelled for the first time since the inaugural Beef Week in 1982 due to crippling drought conditions in the region, improved conditions over the following year saw Beef Week return to Casino in 2008. As the primary service centre for the Richmond Valley region, Casino has continued to thrive despite the struggles of the surrounding districts traditional agricultural industries.