Martinican Gambling Laws
By Reno Rollins
Gambling is legal in Martinique. This mainly applies to casino gaming and pari-mutual betting. There does not appear to be a national lottery.
The legal age for gambling and drinking alcohol is 18.
Horse Racing in Martinique
Along with cockfighting, horse racing is considered one of the national sports of the country.
There is one major horse racing facility in Martinique. Known as the Hippodrome de Carrere Lamentin, it is located in the city of Lamentin. The track features both harness and thoroughbred racing. Two restaurants are available on the premises. For more information, call +596 517 64 9.
Cockfighting in Martinique
Cockfighting is considered one of the national sports of Martinique. Events can regularly be found in Riviere-Pilote. The participants in the fights are known as gamecocks or cocks, and fights take place in a ring known as a cockpit. While all fights are not to the death, cockfighting can sometimes result in fatalities for both of the participants. A great deal of wagering takes place during these events.
Snake-Mongoose Fighting in Martinique
Events take place in a pit located in Riviere-Pilote. While not as common as cockfighting, the spectacle is nonetheless popular with locals. The mongoose traditionally uses its quick reflexes and resistance to snake neurotoxins to move in close and land a killing blow on the serpent. In some cases, however, the snake may land a precise strike and mortally wound the mongoose.
This sport is highly controversial and condemned by animal rights groups around the globe.
Martinique is an overseas department of France located in the Caribbean Sea. It belongs to the European Union and uses the euro as the official currency. All residents of Martinique are considered French citizens with full legal and political rights.
The largest urban areas include:
- Fort-de-France (the capital of Martinique)
The total population of the island is estimated to be 401,000. The majority of the population is descended from slaves brought to the island to work on the sugarcane plantations.
Carib Indians were living on the island when European colonists arrived. Britain controlled the island during a portion the Seven Years’ War (1762 to 1763), during the French Revolutionary Wars from 1794 until 1802, and during the Napoleonic wars from 1809 until 1814 (in fact, Napoleon’s wife Josephine was born on the island to a wealthy Creole family).
A slave rebellion was put down in 1788, and civil war broke out the following year. In 1791, the royalist faction gained control, declared independence, and refused to give rights to free people of color. In 1794, the British occupied the island and held it until 1802.
Slavery was banned in 1848. Due to a need for workers on the sugar cane plantations, laborers were brought in from China and India.
In 1902, Mount Pelee erupted and killed between 26,000 and 36,000 people. Saint-Pierre was completely destroyed. Another natural disaster occurred in 2007, when Martinique experience an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale.
The official language of the island is French, but many residents speak Antillean Creole. This language incorporates elements of African, Portuguese, Spanish and English, and it is more commonly used in speech rather than writing.
The island’s economy is primarily based on trade, with agriculture only accounting for 6% of the GDP. Most sugarcane is now used in the production of rum, and banana exports have increased in recent years. Most grain, meat and vegetables are imported, and this requires the island to remain dependent on foreign aid from France. Tourism is now the most important part of Martinique’s economy.
Roman Catholicism is the main religion on the island, although other Christian denominations are also present.
Casinos in Martinique
The nation of Martinique has two operational casinos. They are:
- Casino Bateliere Plazza (Rue des Alizes, Schoelcher, Martinique) This casino features 140 gaming machines and seven table and poker games (Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Blackjack and American Roulette). There are also two restaurants on the property. The minimum age for gambling is 18. For more information, call +596 617 323.
- Le Meridien Trois Ilets (Pointe du Bout, Trois-Ilets, Martinique) Slot machines are available from 10am until 3am daily, and table games are available from 9pm until 3am daily. This casino features 40 gaming machines and two table games (American Roulette and Blackjack). There are also three restaurants, one bar and a 279-room hotel on the premises. A $7 entrance fee is charged to all customers. French, English and Creole are spoken by the casino staff. The minimum age for gaming is 18. For more information, call +596 660 000.
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