A man broke into the Dunedin Casino and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage in a drunken rampage late last week, police say.

Police were called to the Southern Cross Hotel about 10pm Friday after staff heard noises and security cameras showed the man smashing bottles, throwing chocolates and other food.

The hotel had been closed for Good Friday.

Acting Sergeant Jaimee McDonald said it appeared the man pulled off a security grate to get into the hotel.

Inside the casino he had allegedly drunk alcohol, smashed bottles, broken furniture, climbed on to a gaming machine, tried to climb a curtain and smashed a window.

A 20-year-old will appear in Dunedin District Court this week charged with burglary.