Most people associate the Caribbean with beautiful beaches, clear blue waters, and an abundance of sunshine. But for some, the Caribbean is also synonymous with casinos and gambling. In fact, the Caribbean is the destination of choice for many gamblers, and for some, this is the trip of a lifetime. But what about the island of St. Lucia?
Does St. Lucia have casinos? There are currently no casinos on the island of St Lucia. Treasure Bay Casino was the first and only casino ever on the island. Treasure Bay Casino was built in 2010 but closed permanently in 2020.
While gambling is legal in St Lucia, it’s questionable whether there will be another casino built on the island. Currently, only online casinos are available for gamblers in St Lucia, none of which operate in St Lucia.
The gambling laws in the Caribbean are different from island to island. Several islands still choose to make gambling illegal. However, gambling has been legalized over the years to help with local island economies by attracting tourists and bringing in revenue. There are eight Caribbean islands that currently have casinos.
Which Caribbean Island Has the Most Casinos?
The Dominican Republic has the most casinos of any the Caribbean islands with thirty casinos, followed by Puerto Rico with its nineteen casinos.
In both of these countries, casinos are located in every part of these islands and offer a variety of amenities and games for guests. These countries have benefitted immensely from the revenue provided by these casinos and gambling has become a major source of tourism on these islands.
Which Caribbean Islands Have Casinos?
Each island in the Caribbean has it’s own gambling laws and many still choose to make gambling illegal or just don’t have casinos. The island of St Lucia legalized gambling and built a casino in 2010 but that casino has since been closed.
Gambling is big business in the Caribbean and each island has its own rules on gambling.
Currently, there are eight Caribbean islands that have casinos:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
- St. Maarten
Casinos in Antigua & Barbuda
Gambling has been legal in Antigua since 1963 and they opened their first casino in 1964.
Antigua currently has five casinos within its 108 square miles. King’s Casino is one of the most popular, and it’s located in the capital city of St. Johns. In fact, all of its casinos are located in the St Johns area.
Casinos in Aruba
Aruba is famous for being the home of the game Caribbean Stud Poker. The first casino opened on the island in 1959 and for a long time, gambling was the island’s most popular attraction.
Aruba has focused more on leisure travel and beach vacations lately but it is still a popular spot for gamblers. Aruba currently has twelve casinos with a large variety of games to offer visitors.
Casinos in Bahamas
The Bahamas is the Caribbean’s biggest gambling destination. The Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island and the Caribbean’s largest casino, Baha Mar, are the biggest draw for gamblers. This grand casino has over 1,800 slot machines and 800 table games and is a gambling destination by itself.
Gambling has been legal in the Bahamas since 1967 but it is illegal for any Bahaman citizen to gamble in any of the casinos. The casinos are open only to tourists.
Casinos in Curacao
Gambling has been legal in Curacao since 1909 while it was part of the Netherlands Antilles.
It currently has nine casinos, mostly located in the capitol city of Willemstad, and because of some complicated gambling requirements, most of the casinos only have slot machines.
Casinos in the Dominican Republic
Gambling was legalized on the island in 1999 and the island currently has thirty casinos.
Gambling is big business in the Dominican Republic and the island is a very popular destination for gamblers.
You can find every type of game here and in every corner of the island. The Dominican Republic has benefitted immensely from its casinos.
Casinos in Jamaica
Gambling was legalized in Jamaica in 2010 to boost the economy and the first casinos were built in 2015.
Under Jamaican law, casino licenses can be granted only to resort complexes offering “a mix of tourism amenities and facilities.
Jamaica has twenty two casinos, most are located in the capitol of Kingston
Casinos in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory that has nineteen casinos, many of which are fine establishments that require a dress code.
According to the Casino and Gambling Act, every casino must be located in a space provided by a resort, cruise ship or hotel.
Puerto Rico has casinos offering a large variety of games and slot machines and considers gambling a viable revenue source.
Gambling is unregulated on the island of St. Maarten and there are thirteen casinos located around the island.
Due to this lack of gambling regulations, St. Maarten is often referred to as the “Sin City of the Caribbean.”
St Maarten has one of the most unique casinos in the Caribbean, St. Maarten’s Coliseum Casino lets you gamble in an ancient Roman atmosphere.
What is the Largest Casino in the Caribbean?
Baha Mar is the largest casino in the Caribbean. It is located in Naussau, Bahamas on the half-mile long Grand Hyatt Baha Mar property.
The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is one of three hotels in this large resort complex on Nassau. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is the largest casino, hotel and retail complex in the Caribbean, and the Baha Mar casino is 100,000 square feet of gambling fun.
The Baha Mar Casino is a stunningly designed casino with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea and deluxe fixtures and amenities.
This casino was designed to offer a little something to every type of gambler, from high-rollers to the casual vacation gamblers. Drinks are complimentary to all gamblers and there is a dress code. Close toed shoes and sleeved shirts are required for men at all times, and long pants are required in the evening.
What is Caribbean Stud Poker?
The Caribbean has put its own stamp on the history of gambling. Caribbean Stud Poker is one of the most popular casino games in the world and it was created in Aruba in the 1980’s. Who actually created this type of poker is highly debated but it is unanimously agreed that it first appeared in Aruba.
The game is played like regular 5-card Stud Poker with the same setup rules but the difference is that the player is playing against the house. That means there’s no bluffing since you’re not playing against other players.
There are also no card draws. This type of poker is very popular online as well as in casinos.
Can You Go Off Resort in St Lucia?
It is safe to go off resort in St. Lucia. Overall, St Lucia is a relaxed, safe island. Just use common sense as you would at home.
Resorts (like all 3 Sandals on St. Lucia) will often provide shuttle service into town and to tourist attractions.
Crime rates are relatively low in St Lucia and the local authorities work with resorts to keep tourists safe. Sandals resorts on the island offer free shuttles around the island to guests. And there are also taxis, rental cars and scooters available to visitors.
Conclusion: Are There Casinos in St. Lucia?
St Lucia is beautiful island to visit to relax and explore but if you’re a fan of gambling and want to gamble, St Lucia isn’t the best choice.
There are no casinos on the island and the only option for gambling is through online casinos which are operated on other islands. The lack of casinos could be a reason that crime is so low on the island.