Everything You Need to Know about Gambling in the Caribbean

written by BVC January 23, 2019
Casino floor tables with people gambling and dealers standing.

White sand beaches, sparkling blue waters, and gorgeous sunshine are just a few of the draws to visiting the Caribbean, but if you needed another reason to head out there, the region is also a growing gambling destination.

Over 22 countries in the region have legalized gambling with over 22,000 slot machines, 1,280 gaming tables and 159 different casinos. If you like to have a flutter, then why wouldn’t you do it in the Caribbean? It certainly beats heading down to your local casino for a bet.

In this article we take a look at some of the best spots to gamble in the Caribbean and take a brief look at what’s next for gambling in the region.

Cartagena, Colombia

On the Caribbean coast of Colombia sits the jewel in the crown of the country’s beauty, Cartagena. During the height of narco-terrorism in Colombia, millions of dollars were spent by major players such as Pablo Escobar on luxurious homes in the city.

Now that the era of Pablo Escobar has ended, the city still retains the opulence of a previous decade minus the danger. 31 degrees Celsius is the average daily temperature in Cartagena and the city is a paradise for tourists.

The city also abounds with top notch casinos, the best of which are Cartagena Casino and Casino Rio Cartagena. The former is situated just a ten minute stroll from the gorgeous private beaches in the new town. After you’ve won (or lost) in the casino you can head straight to the beach and cool off in the Caribbean Sea.

Puerto Rico

The small Spanish-speaking island off the coast of the United States could rightly call itself the gambling capital of the Caribbean, in fact, the gambling capital of the Latin American world. Thanks to American influence, the tiny island is awash with casinos, one of the best being the Ritz Carlton San Juan.

All manner of gaming variations are available from American roulette to European roulette, blackjack, craps, poker, and baccarat. Further, private rooms are available for discerning guests who want to enter invite-only games for huge stakes.

The hotel included in the building is stunningly luxurious as well, with dazzling views of nearby San Juan. Some of the best Latin food is available, as well as beauty and fitness centers. You’ll also be in the beautiful Caribbean, so what’s not to love?

The Dominican Republic

Along with Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic is an incredibly popular tourist destination for rich American travelers. Their penchant for gambling has to be catered to in the Dominican Republic and there are plenty of casinos available for punters.

There are 30 casinos in The Dominican Republic across a whole myriad of different locations as well as a horse track and several sports betting sites. Away from the gambling tables in the Dominican Republic, there’s much more to do than just sit on a beach and sip a piña colada. There are a number of extreme sports to try out including bungee jumping and white water rafting as well as mangrove forests and petroglyph caves to explore.

Online gambling in the Caribbean

If you’re having just too much fun relaxing by the beach or the pool in the Caribbean, then you may not want to throw on your smart shoes and go into a dark casino. Online gambling is largely legalized in the majority of Caribbean countries with land-based casinos. However if you are travelling to an island or a country that you’re unsure of, double check the laws regarding online gambling before you travel.

The next big gambling destination

Two years ago the government in Jamaica legalized all forms of land-based gambling and since then, two of the three major casino developers in the region have applied for a license to build super casinos in the country.

At time of writing there are six cities with gambling facilities and eight establishments in total on the island. Variation is pretty sparse on the island but all that is expected to change in due course when planned developments get off the ground.

Can the Caribbean reap the economic benefits of gambling?

Countries such as the United Kingdom have benefited enormously from the tax revenues and jobs that the gambling industry has brought to the nation. The gross gambling yield of the UK in 2017 was estimated to be over £15 billion with a good percentage of that being taxable by the government.

In addition, thousands of jobs have been provided in the UK either directly through jobs relating to the gambling industry or through advertising related to it. Also, online gambling has created plenty of jobs and interest in gambling. Land-based casinos are lesser used in the UK as the vast majority of punters avail from the wide selection of games available from online casino providers.

The majority of Caribbean countries are expected to legalize online gambling in due course, which will bring a financial boost to those countries, although focusing on land-based casinos could prove to be more fruitful for the Caribbean in making it a tourist destination. Large casinos will not just bring money into the gambling industry but also into the local area with more and more tourists descending upon these islands.


The Caribbean is a fantastic destination to go and relax, soak in the sun, and unwind. But that’s not enough for everyone; sometimes people require a little bit more to their holidays and the Caribbean is starting to provide this in terms of gambling.

Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the north coast of Colombia are all fantastic locations to combine tropical paradises with some of the best gambling games in the world. Although more and more countries in the region are beginning to legalize online gambling, which could be better suited to a tropical paradise hotel than an actual visit to a land-based casino. Plus, if you win a big glut of money while you’re away, you could afford to pay for another trip to the Caribbean.


Check out this handpicked feature on Thousands of Farmers in Jamaica to Receive Support to Increase Production.

You may also like