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New Caledonia Gambling

New Caledonian Gambling Laws

By Reno Rollins

Gambling is legal in New Caledonia. This extends to casino gambling, online gambling, slot machines, poker and the lottery. Bingo is also popular (and legal) on the islands.

Casinos in New Caledonia

There are currently three casinos operating in New Caledonia. They are:

- Casino at the Surf Novotel (Noumea, New Caledonia) This casino also has a 229-room hotel on the premises.

- Casino Royal (Roche a la voile, Anse Vata, Noumea, New Caledonia) Slot machines are open Monday thru Thursday from 11am to 1am and Friday and Saturday from 11am until 3am. Table games are open Monday thru Thursday from 8pm until 2am and Friday thru Sunday from 8pm until 4am. The casino has 126 gaming machines (including video poker) and 11 table games (baccarat, blackjack, punto banco and roulette). There is also a bar, restaurant and a 253-room hotel. A nominal entrance fee is charged. For more information, call +687 242 020 or visit their website at www.novotel.grands-hotels.cc.

- Grand Casino (Pointe Magnin, Le Meridien, Noumea, New Caledonia) Slot machines are open Monday thru Thursday from 11am until 1am and Friday thru Sunday from 11am until 3am. Table games are open Monday thru Thursday from 8pm until 2am and Friday thru Sunday from 8pm until 4am. The casino offers 210 gaming machines and 20 table and poker games (poker, blackjack, baccarat and American roulette). One restaurant is also located on the premises. For more information, call +687 242 020, or visit their website at www.lemeridien.com.

New Caledonia Facts

New Caledonia is an overseas territory of France. Located in the southwest Pacific, it is about half the size of Taiwan. It is comprised of the main island of Grand Terre, the Loyalty Islands and a number of smaller islands. The largest city and capital is Noumea. The official currency is the CFP franc.

Residents of New Caledonia are considered French citizens and issued French passports. They are allowed to vote in both presidential and legislative French elections. Around 2014, New Caledonia will decide whether to remain with the French Republic or become an independent state. Calls for such independence began around 1985.

New Caledonia is divided into three provinces. They are:

- South Province (with the provincial capital being Noumea)
- North Province (with the provincial capital being Kone)
- Loyalty Islands Province (with the provincial capital being Lifou)

Each province is further divided into communes. These are:

South Province

- Thio
- Yate
- L’Ile-des-Pins
- Le Mont-Dore
- Noumea
- Dumbea
- Paita
- Bouloupari
- La Foa
- Sarramea
- Farino
- Moindou
- Bourail
- Poya (south part)

North Province

- Poya (north part)
- Pouembout
- Kone
- Voh
- Kaala-Gomen
- Koumac
- Poum
- Belep
- Ouegoa
- Pouebo
- Hienghene
- Touho
- Poindimie
- Ponerihouen
- Houailou
- Kouaoua
- Canala

Loyalty Islands Province

- Ouvea
- Lifou
- Mare

The islands of New Caledonia were first settled around 1500 BC. The original settlers were known as the Lapita. In the 11th century, Polynesians also began to migrate to the islands.

In the 18th century, the islands were first discovered by Europeans. British explorer James Cook sighted Grande Terre in 1774 and dubbed it New Caledonia, with Caledonia being the Latin name for Scotland.

During the 19th century, whalers operated off the coast of New Caledonia. The Sandalwood trade was also active, but it dwindled over time. When this happened, the traders became abusive to the locals. They also brought diseases to the island (including influenza, syphilis, leprosy, dysentery, measles and smallpox). These incidents eventually led to violence, with the Pouma clan killing and eating the crew of the Cutter.

In 1853, the islands became a French possession. Between 1864 and 1922, the island was used by the French as a penal colony.

During World War II, Allied forces used New Caledonia as a position to halt the advance of the Japanese. The headquarters for the U.S. military in the Pacific was located on Noumea.

New Caledonia contains one-quarter of the world’s nickel resources. The country is also home to a number of ancient ecosystems.

The population of New Caledonia is estimated to be 240,400. The Melanesian Kanak make up 44.6% of the population, with Europeans, Polynesians, Indonesians, Vietnamese, Ni-Vanuatu, Indians, Arabs, Africans and others making up the rest.

The official language of New Caledonia is French. Almost all residents are fluent in this language. There are also 28 indigenous Austronesian languages.

Roman Catholicism is the primary religion on the islands. About 60% of the population follows this denomination, with Protestantism coming in second place with 30%.

Cricket is the most popular sport in New Caledonia. Football (soccer) is also very popular throughout the islands. Rugby League appeared in 2003, and it has experienced a rapid increase in its following.

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