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Haitian Gambling Information

Facts About Haiti

By Reno Rollins

Haiti LotteryOfficially known as the Republic of Haiti, the island is a Latin American country located in the Caribbean. Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. It is also made up of the smaller islands of Les Cayemites, Ile de Anacaona, La Gonave, Tortuga and Navasse.

The total area of Haiti is 10,714 square miles. Its capital is Port-au-Prince. There are 8.8 million people living in Haiti.

Formerly a French colony, Haiti is the only nation to successfully lead a slave rebellion. It is also the first independent black-led republic.

Haiti is divided into 10 departments. In the list below, the capital city for each department is listed in parentheses.

  • Antimonite (Gonaives)
  • Centre (Hinche)
  • Grand’Anse (Jeremie)
  • Nippes (Miragoane)
  • Nord (Cap-Haitien)
  • Nord-Est (Fort-Liberte)
  • Nord-Ouest (Port-de-Paix)
  • Ouest (Port-au-Prince)
  • Sud-Est (Jacmel)
  • Sud (Les Cayes)

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. It was a popular tourist destination in the 1950s, but that has declined due to political instability, violence and a reportedly high rate of AIDS infection. As of 2003, it was estimated that 80% of the country was living in poverty.

The official languages are French and Haitian Creole, although Spanish is commonly found near the border that Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic. English is also spoken on the island, and it can be found more frequently near tourist destinations.

Gambling Laws in Haiti

Gambling in Haiti is legal. While Haiti only has two casinos, lottery stands can seemingly be found on every street corner and even in the small villages. To gamble in Haitian casinos, you must be at least 18 years of age. Cards and dominoes are also popular pastimes, and money may change hands during these contests. Cockfighting is also a popular (and legal) activity on the island. And the Haitian lottery is also probably the most popular type of gambling in the entire country.

Casinos in Haiti

Currently, there are only two legal casinos in operation within the borders of Haiti. (We don't include Haiti lottery sales in the count of Haitian casinos.) Keep in mind, however, that Haitian casinos regulate themselves, so the payout rate on slot machines might not be as high as players from other countries have become accustomed to.

Available casinos include:

El Rancho Hotel & Casino (Rue San Jose de San Martin, Port-au-Prince, Haiti)

The El Rancho Hotel & Casino is open daily from 5pm until 3am, this casino has 50 gaming machines and 15 table and poker games (blackjack, roulette and poker). There are two restaurants on the premises of the El Rancho Hotel & Casino, as well as two bars and a 95-room hotel. Their website is http://www.hotelelrancho.com/.

Royal Haitian Hotel and Casino (43 Sonto Nara, Port-au-Prince, Haiti)

The Royal Haitian Hotel and Casino is open daily from 9pm until close, this casino has 30 slot machines and six table games (blackjack, roulette and Caribbean Stud Poker). The Royal Hatian Hotel and Casino has 500 square feet of gaming space. US dollars are the accepted form of currency. Both Creole and English are spoken. For more information, call +509 2-34-3323.

Cockfighting in Haiti

Cockfighting takes place every Sunday in almost every town and village throughout Haiti. These are very popular community events, and a great deal of money will be wagered during a typical day of cockfighting. Successful trainers also achieve status and become powerful figures in their community.

Haitian Lottery

The Haitian lottery is like a national pastime in Haiti. There, it is often known as “borlette.” The Haitian lottery is also called Mon Reve or “My Dream,” as many Haitians select lottery numbers based on visions and dreams.

The Haiti lottery is a serious business in Haiti, as many residents scrape and save for the chance to win big on the lottery and escape the poverty surrounding them. Lottery houses can be found everywhere in Haiti, even in the form of a folding table set up at the intersection of two footpaths.

The numbers for private lotteries in Haiti are usually determined by the winning numbers drawn in either the New York State Lottery or the Santo Domingo State Lottery. Locals approve of this method, citing the magouy of Haiti (magouy means “corruption through trickery”).

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