Belizean Gambling Laws
Belize allows casino gambling and has allowed online gambling in the past, though little evidence exist for other forms of gaming in the Belizean state. Belize is a Central American nation which only gained its full independence in 1981, so its laws are continuing to develop at the writing of this article.
Belize was a part of the British Empire since the late 1700's, though the unsettled had been nominally a Spanish possession prior to the 1770's. British Honduras, as Belize was then called, became a self-governing colony of the British crown in 1961. The country renamed itself Belize in 1973 and became a sovereign nation in 1981.
Since that time, Belize and Guatemala have engaged in a long dispute, because the Guatemalans do not recognize Belizean sovereignty and claim authority over the region itself. The United State, United Kingdom and fellow Central American states have at times mediated border disputes between Belize and Guatemala. The British government now outfits a British army garrison, brought on by requests by the government of Belize. Belize is a close American ally and even uses the dollar as its official currency. This makes gambling in Belize easy for visiting Americans.
About half the population of Belize speaks Spanish as their native language. Because of the long British presence there, many Belizeans speak English, too. There are only about a quarter-million citizens of Belize, as it is on of the smallest nations in Latin America.
The Palace Casino (Ambergris Caye) - The Palace Casino in Ambergris Caye has 30 gaming machines and 4 table games. You can call Palace Casino at +501 226 357 0 or visit their website at www.ambergriscaye.com/palace.
Princess Hotel & Casino Belize (Belize City) - The Casino Belize is the only casino in Belize City, with 400 slot machines and video poker machines, as well as 3 casino game tables. The games currently offered are blackjack, Caribbean stud poker and American roulette. Call Casino Belize toll free at 888-790-5264. The website address at Belize Casino is www.princessbelize.com.
Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (Corozal) - Las Vegas Casino is the largest casino in Belize. Like Casino Belize, Las Vegas Casino houses over 400 gaming machines. But Las Vegas Casino also offers 31 tables of gaming, including 6 tables of poker, a separate section for stud poker, as well as Pai Gow Poker, Asian Stud, Baccarat, Blackjack and Mini-Baccarat. The phone number of Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is +501 423 700 0 and the site address is www.lvbelize.com.
Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is located in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, located alogn the Belize-Mexico border.
Online Gambling in Belize
The Gaming Control Act of 2000 established that Belize would license online casinos. It was not until 2004 that this law came into effect. A facilitator of Belizean licensing is Slogold, which incorporates companies which can then be licensed in Belize.
Belize has licensed online casinos in the past, though the UIGEA passed by the U.S. Congress in fall of 2006 has forced Belize to make hard decisions. The Belizean government has tried to cooperate with U.S. authorities in the past over gambling cases, as the case of CaribSports has shown.
Caribsports and Belizean Online Gambling
CaribSports was an online gaming outfit out of Belize. Caribsports took online wagers and telephone bets from U.S. players. Eventually, the Internal Revenue Service brought a tax fraud case against the U.S. citizens who owned CaribSports. The men were accused of diverting money from the corporate accounts of CaribSports for their own financial benefit.
These individuals were Peter Mowad, Jon Rogers and John Thorn, of Aliquippa, Toronto (Ohio) and Tampa, Florida respectively. At the request of United States officials, the Belizean government froze over $5 million in assets for Caribsports.
Lottery in Belize
There is a new lottery in Belize, which is still developing lottery gaming laws in their new country. Lotto prizes can reach as high as $120,000, which require a player to choose five numbers to be drawn. The Reporter online newspaper out of Belize sometimes reports on Belizean lottery winners.
The Belizean national lottery takes place every Sunday morning at 10 o'clock. Lottery gamblers often buy their tickets after early morning church services. Tickets are $1 Belizean and receive 2 two-digit numbers. Officials then draw four single-digit numbers. If you match your last two numbers, you win a small prize around $100. If you match all four numbers, you win several thousand dollars. The higher prize depends on the number of players, and can increase to much larger totals, as stated above.
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