5 Things You Should Know About Gambling in the Caribbean


The Caribbean is known for many things, from its inviting blue waters and white sand beaches to its vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisine.

What many people don’t realize is that it also plays host to an economically significant gambling industry, encompassing both land-based and online casinos.

Whether you are a resident of the Caribbean or you are planning a visit and you want to indulge in a spot of gambling, it’s good to get up to speed with what to expect across this region. With that in mind, here are a few interesting facts to take into account.

Legal age restrictions differ

While certain forms of gambling are legal in lots of nations across the Caribbean, there are differences in the minimum legal ages which are enforced for this type of activity.

For example, in the US Virgin Islands you need to be 21 years old to participate in any game of chance. Conversely in the Bahamas and a number of other areas, the minimum age is just 18.

If in doubt, consult this ultimate guide about legal gambling age, or check with the casino you intend to visit. This is the best way to avoid any awkwardness if you are a young person yourself, or you are visiting with someone in this interim age group.

Antigua and Barbuda is an online gambling hotspot

While online gambling is either explicitly outlawed or sitting in legal limbo in many parts of the world, the opposite is true in Antigua and Barbuda.

Rather than resisting the rise of web-based gambling, this island nation has been a strong proponent of it since the mid-1990s, and today it is home to hundreds of gambling brands as a result of the licenses offered by the government.

In fact, its support of online gambling has landed it in a political pickle with the US. This is a shame, since many sites based in Antigua and Barbuda rely on custom from American players to make ends meet.

Dress codes apply in most land-based casinos

While the relaxed, tropical vibes of the Caribbean might make formal attire seem unnecessary, it’s worth noting that bricks and mortar casinos in places like Jamaica and Puerto Rico do have dress codes that guests need to adhere to.

You won’t be expected to wear a full dinner suit or evening gown to get through the doors, but things like flip-flops, sandals and swimsuits are generally out of the question.

A smart-casual approach should stand you in good stead, but again you should check with the casino ahead of your visit to get the specific details of the dress code so as to avoid embarrassment.

Responsible budgeting is essential

Whatever way you prefer to play casino games, it’s crucial to keep your spending under control. If you don’t think about your gambling budget beforehand, you could find yourself overstretching your finances.

Some online casinos in the Caribbean do let you set limits on your daily spend, or implement caps which automatically kick in to keep you on an even keel.

If you are visiting a land-based venue, there aren’t always the same controls in place. If possible, decide on how much you want to spend beforehand and take only this amount with you. That way you won’t be able to dig deeper if you are losing, even if you are tempted to.

Most casinos are attached to holiday resorts

As you may have guessed, if you want to gamble in the Caribbean then you’ll probably be faced with the prospect of doing so at a casino that is housed within a larger holiday resort.

This has positive and negative aspects to keep in mind. Prices can be higher in these places, but you get the benefit of enjoying world-class facilities and amenities during your visit.

Likewise if you are participating in table games, you may often be able to receive gratuities like food and drink in the house.

If you are feeling flush, you could even book a room for an overnight stay at one of these resorts, and perhaps pick up some added perks as a customer thanks to this move.

Most of all, remember to do your research before getting into gambling in the Caribbean. We have gone over a few factors that could sour the experience if you aren’t aware of them beforehand, and hopefully this will give you the impetus to check into things further so you can enjoy your casino experience to the fullest.

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