The Bahamas is a small Caribbean nation that is made up of two main island and sits only about 30 minutes flight away from America. It is a hugely popular tourist destination, with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, many of which are American. Due to this, casinos are very popular in the tiny island nation with about seven legal ones spread out over the different islands. These casinos are of course set in massive resorts, designed to attract tourists.
All of this being said, the history of gambling in the Bahamas is a bit surreal. In the 1920’s a casino zone was proposed and licensed. In this zone new proposed resorts came up, along with millions of dollars in investments. This had a lot to do with the prohibition laws that were currently being enforced in nearby America. At this time organized gambling was actually banned in the Bahamas. In 1939 the law was amended to allow exceptions, two being small casinos that had actually been quite happily and illegally operating for many years.
The new law carried conditions, including the exclusion of minors, persons born in the Bahamas or employed residents and civil servants from gambling at all. So basically only tourists and non Bahamian retirees could access the casinos. Several casino licences were applied for and denied until the 1960’s when the Cuban Revolution forced American casino operators to look for new places to build. A number of licences were granted and casino resorts sprang up. The laws however did not change. If you were a Bahamian, you could not gamble. You could go to the hotel, but not the casino. Today that law still stands. So now we have a country where casinos are a major source of tourism and income, but locals are totally barred from accessing them.
Treasure Bay Casino Lucaya
Treasure Bay Casino Lucaya is a great example of the typical casinos in the Bahamas. It is set in a gorgeous sea side resort with two attached hotels and its own golf course. The casino is done in American style and has a 35 000 square foot casino floor with 400 slot and video poker machines, as well as 21 table games with all the American favourites such as Roulette, Blackjack, different kinds of Poker and Baccarat.
The casino used to be owned by The Isle of Capri, which is a well known casino operator in the US, but is now owned and operated by Treasure Bay. The resort has a number of restaurants and bars, including some right on the beach. Activities range from snorkelling and diving to hiking and horseback riding for the outdoorsy people, to a world class Spa, Golf, and of course lounging on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches for the less adventurous.
Resort World Bimini Casino Alice Town
This is an interesting casino as it has two parts. The first is on the cruise ship that takes players from Miami to Bimini Island, and the second is on the Island itself. The cruise takes only two hours from Miami, but the ship stays docked at Bimini Island all day. The casino on the island itself is 10 000 sq feet and offers table games and slots, as does the ship. The island casino has six different restaurants, and a number of activities for guests to choose from, or guests can simply stay on the cruise ship and play in the casino.