Caribbean casinos offer gaming opportunities for visitors who want to try their luck while enjoying their holiday in the sun.
By Lisa Mullins Bishop, Caribbean Edge Staff Writer
If you're looking to spice up your Caribbean holiday, most of the islands offer an active nightlife with a variety of discos, dance clubs, bars, and lounges. A number of Caribbean islands also have casinos that offer gaming opportunities for visitors who want to try their luck while enjoying their holiday in the sun.
The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua, Dutch St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Turks, Curacao, and St. Vincent have a number of gaming palaces on their shores. Most of the casinos offer a variety of table games such as craps, Caribbean stud poker, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, and all have slot machines and sometimes video poker.
Caribbean casinos are more laid-back than their American and European counterparts. Unlike the casinos in Las Vegas, most casinos in the Caribbean are not open 24 hours. And while many have a relaxed dress code, there are some that require more formal attire. Before setting out for an evening of gaming, call ahead to inquire about a casino's hours of operation and dress code.
If you are looking to make a date with Lady Luck during your stay in the Caribbean, here's where you'll find some gaming palaces.
For those looking for some action at the tables, Antigua has quite a few casinos that fit the bill. Glitzy Kings Casino at the Heritage Quay shopping and entertainment complex in St. Johns has been a favorite spot since it opened in 1988. Here gamers can try their hand at slot machines, video poker, craps, roulette, Caribbean stud poker, and blackjack. There's a cocktail lounge on site and number of restaurants nearby.
The Royal Antiguan Beach and Tennis Resort on Deep Bay at the entrance of St. John's Harbor tempts those wanting to try their luck against its 150 slot and video poker machines. The St. James Club in Mamora Bay is an elegant casino, with 50 slot machines as well as table games. Gamers at the Casino Riviera at Runaway Bay will find plenty to keep them busy. There's blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, roulette, and 35 slot machines. Another casino to check out is the Coral Reef Casino, part of the Jolly Harbour Villas Commercial Center. This gaming facility has 50 slot machines as well as blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, and roulette. The Grand Princess in Jolly Harbour is the newest casino on the island. The 71,000-squre-foot casino has 250 slot machines, and table games such as blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, and roulette.
The Bahamas are a popular destination and gamers hoping to try their luck at the tables and slot machines have plenty of opportunities to do just that. Cable Beach and Paradise Island are home to a number of casinos. The Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island is one of the largest casinos in the Caribbean. This magnificent pleasure palace opens onto outdoor terraces and restaurants, bringing a bit of the beautiful Bahamas into the gaming area. The casino has 78 tables of games (46 blackjack, 7 craps, 9 roulette, 3 baccarat, 4 Caribbean stud poker, 3 poker games) as well as almost 1,000 slot machines. All play is according to Las Vegas rules. The casino also offers gaming lessons every day for those wanting to learn about the various games.
Another popular casino is the Crystal Palace Casino part of the Wyndham Nassau Resort on Cable Beach. This opulent casino, with its pink and purple color scheme, has almost 700 slot machines as well as 38 tables of blackjack, as well as craps, roulette, baccarat, mini-baccarat, and Caribbean stud poker.
The island of Grand Bahama has its own casino as well. The 20,000-square-foot Bahamas Princess Resort and Casino offers players a variety of table games (25 blackjack, 7 craps, 1 baccarat, and 4 roulette) as well as 450 slot machines.
The lavish 28,000-square-foot Crowne Royal Oasis Casino in Freeport (formerly known as the Casino at Bahamia Royal Oasis) offers much excitement for gamers. There are 540 slots as well as number of game tables including 5 American roulette, 31 blackjack, 7 craps, and 1 mini-baccarat. The Bahamas newest casino, the Isle of Capri Casino, opened in December 2003 at the new Our Lucaya Resort (www.ourlucaya.com/casino.asp) on Grand Bahama. The 30,000-square-foot facility offers gamers 400 slots and 21 tables of games including baccarat, Caribbean stud poker, blackjack, and roulette.
The island of Curacao has twelve casinos, all low-key and more restrained than those found in Las Vegas, Nevada. At 5,000-square-foot, the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort and Emerald Casino and the Hilton Curacao are smaller Vegas-type casinos. Yet they provide plenty of action. The Emerald Casino at the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort has 135 slots and 12 table games such as roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and craps, while Hilton Curacao has 185 slots as well as poker, mini-baccarat, craps, blackjack. The 29,848-square-foot Holiday Beach Hotel and Casinos is another popular casino with 350 slot machines, and mix of 14 table games. Trupial Inn and Hill Rose Casino attracts gamers looking to try their hand at its 8 table games such as poker, roulette, blackjack and the 126 slot machines. The 15,000-square-foot Breezes Resort and Princess Casino offers a variety of gaming options, including 270 slot machines and 9 table games like poker, roulette, blackjack, and Caribbean stud poker.
Most of the larger hotels in Santo Domingo have casinos. Gamers will find the table games, such as blackjack, craps, and roulette, as well as slot machines. The largest casino on the island is the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel and Casino. In addition to its casino, there are five restaurants, live merengue concerts, and a wraparound bar. The Hotel Hispaniola draws a young crowd with its disco and European- style casino that includes video poker and simulated horse racing. The Casino Santana Beach is right on the beach and offers roulette, Caribbean poker, slots, and blackjack. The Occidental El Embajador in Santo Domingo is a 7,500 square foot pleasure palace with slots and 10 table games. The Melia Santo Domingo Casino is another smaller casino, offering 16 table games as well as slots. The Barcelo Gran Hotel Lina Spa and Casino has 45 slots and 15 table games including poker, blackjack, and roulette.
The island of Puerto Rico has a dozen or so casinos that are known for their Old World style. Many require formal dress, and by law all casinos are in hotels. Most of the casinos are in San Juan and offer slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps, as well as Caribbean stud poker. The casinos of Puerto Rico are some of the most fun in Caribbean as well as some of the most spectacular. In addition to gaming, the casinos have a number of award-winning restaurants as well as a variety of bars and lounges that offer live entertainment. Here you'll find merengue bars, piano bars, and discos
The Hyatt Regency Cerromar on the north coast has an 8,500-square-foot casino with more than 250 slots and 20 table games. The 12,500-square-foot casino at the Wyndham Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino offers 40 table games such as baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette, and Caribbean stud poker as well as 400 slot machines. The Ritz Carlton San Juan features the first "Ritz Carlton" casino, an 18,000-square-foot gaming palace with plenty of action ranging from slot machines to a number of table games such as Caribbean Stud Poker, baccarat, blackjack, pai gow poker, poker, American roulette, and craps.Inter-Continental San Juan Resort and Casino offers 10,000 square feet of blackjack, stud poker, slot machines, mini-baccarat, craps, roulette. San Juan Marriott & Stellaris Casino has baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette plus slot machines. The 13,000-square-foot casino at the Wyndham El San Juan Hotel in San Juan reopened in 1985 following a multi-million dollar renovation. The casino was totally remodeled and offers gamers a relaxed atmosphere for an evening of chance. The hotel also has seven award-winning restaurants for those wishing to enjoy an evening of dinner and gaming.
Outside of San Juan visitors will find other casinos such as the Candelero Resort at Palmas Del Mar, the Hilton Ponce and Casino, which has close to 300 slots as well as a variety of table games, and the Westin Rio Mar Resort Casino with its slots and 11 table games such as poker, roulette, and blackjack. The Wyndham El Conquistador Resort and Country Club has roulette, blackjack, craps, mini-baccarat as well as slots.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the island of St. Croix is home to the sole casino that typically draws a crowd. Gamers can visit the Divi Carina Bay in Christiansted to enjoy slots and a variety of table games.
The St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino has private salons for high rollers, and the glitzy Jack Tar Village Casino in Frigate Bay has 50 slot machines as well as baccarat and roulette.
The casinos on the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten are located on the Dutch side of the island and can be found in the hotels. The Casino Royale at Maho Beach Resort and Casino is the largest on the island. Gamers have their choice of 16 blackjack tables, 6 roulette wheels, 3 craps, 3 Caribbean stud-poker tables, and 250 slot machines, as well as baccarat and mini-baccarat.
The nautical-themed Atlantis casino in Cupecoy has a private salon for high-stakes baccarat as well as seven-card stud poker and French roulette. The 12,000-square-foot Princess Casino at the Princess Port de Plaisance is a favorite of many gamers. This casino has slot machines and 20 table games of roulette, craps, blackjack, and Caribbean stud poker. With live floor shows and restaurant, the casino offers something for everyone.
Other casinos on the island include the Dolphin the island's newest casino located at the Caravanserai Beach Resort, the Rouge et Noir Casino, which is popular with the cruise ship crowd because of its slots and table games, and the Great Bay Beach Hotel and Golden Casino offers slots and 10 table games such as blackjack, roulette, and Caribbean stud poker. The Pelican Resort Club and Hollywood Casino at Simpson Bay is Vegas-style casino overlooking the bay with 16 tables of craps, roulette, blackjack, stud poker, and more than 150 slot machines. The Lightning Casino is a favorite with sports fans. It numerous wide-screen TVs keep fans up to date on the latest baseball, soccer, boxing, hockey, basketball, and football games. The Coliseum Casino has an ancient Rome theme. With its three floors of entertainment, the Coliseum has much to offer gamers who will find slots, poker machines, and a private gaming room that features blackjack, roulette, and Caribbean stud poker. The Diamond Casino has 12 table games such as roulette, baccarat, poker, and blackjack as well as slots.
The Emerald Valley Resort and Casino on St. Vincent offers island visitors a number of games including roulette, blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, craps, and slots.
Casino Gaming by Island: