Gambling in Bermuda
Bermudian Gaming Laws
Currently, there is no legal gambling in Bermuda.
In 1973, it was decided that Bermuda would go ahead with plans to create a national lottery. Support was strong, and the plan was to build a major sports complex with the proceeds. However, the proposed lottery never came to fruition.
By the early 2000s, gambling in Bermuda was bringing in over $33 million dollars a year. The government taxed all betting and, while they seemed to frown on the practice, it was still allowed to take place.
In 2001, legislation (the Prohibition of Gaming Machines Act) was enacted to rid the island of gambling machines by 2004. At the time, there were estimated to be over 500 gaming machines in bars and nightclubs. Police and Customers officers started raiding facilities in 2002.
At the time, residents and visitors could also openly wager on horse racing, greyhound racing, American football, poker games, bingo, raffles and a popular dice game known as Crown and Anchor. During the NFL season, it was estimated that over $350,000 was wagered on games.
While there are still no casinos in Bermuda, visitors may be able to take part in an illegal game of bingo or poker, if they are so inclined. Many experts, however, believe Bermuda will have casinos by 2010.
Facts About Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory located in the North Atlantic Ocean. It can be found 1,100 miles northeast of Miami, Florida and 840 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The territory consists of 138 islands with a total area of 20.6 square miles. It is the oldest remaining British overseas territory.
The Queen of England is the country’s ruler, but her interests are managed by a governor. This official is appointed on the advice of the British government.
The island is divided into nine parishes. They are:
Bermuda was first discover in 1503 by Spanish explorer Juan de Bermudez. Over the next 100 years, the island was visited but not settled.
In 1609, a flotilla of ships departed England and headed for the colony of Jamestown. A storm wrecked one of the ships, and the survivors ended up on Bermuda, thereby claiming it for England.
During the American Civil War, Bermuda was used by Confederate blockade runners to transfer war goods from England to the South.
In the twentieth century, the island became a popular tourist destination for wealthy citizens of Canada, Britain and the United States.
The official currency is the Bermudian dollar. U.S. dollars are also accepted throughout the islands.
Due to low taxes on personal or corporate income, Bermuda has become known as an offshore financial center. This is the country’s largest industry.
The second largest industry is tourism. Over 500,000 visitors come to the islands each year, with around 80% coming from the United States. Many tourists also arrive by cruise ship.
Popular sports in Bermuda include golf, football (soccer), rugby, cricket and sailing. Fishing and equestrian sports are also popular with local residents.
Crown and Anchor in Bermuda
While considered illegal, Crown and Anchor is a popular dice game which can still be played on the island of Bermuda. It was invented by sailors in the British Navy. It is only supposed to be played during Bermuda’s annual Cup Match cricket game, but impromptu games take place all the time.
The game is played with three special dice. Instead of pips, these dice use six symbols (crown, anchor, diamond, club, spade and heart). Bets are placed on a felt mat, and a player can wager on one or more symbols. The player then rolls the dice and is paid according to whether or not his symbols came up.
Even money is paid if one symbol is correct. 2:1 is paid if two symbols come up, and 3:1 if three symbols come up. It is estimated that a player will lose, on average, 7.9% of each turn’s stake.
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