Tunisian Gambling Laws
Casino gambling is legal in Tunisia, though no other form of legal gambling exists in the country. Tunisians love horse racing and following football matches, but the law does not allow legal pari-mutuel or sports betting.
This is due to the large Muslim population, comprising approximately 98% of all Tunisians. Approximately the same number of Tunisians are also Arab.
Casinos in Tunisia
Grand Casino Djerba (Djerba) - Grand Pasino Djerba is open 24 hours a day and has a sizable casino floor by African standards. The Grand Casino features 159 gaming machines and 18 table games. These games include Texas Hold 'Em, Stud Poker, Punto Banco, Roulette and Blackjack. The phone number of Grand Casino Djerba is +216 75 757 537 and the website address is www.djerbacasino.com.
Grand Casino Yasmine (Hammamet) - Grand Casino Yasmine has 110 slot machines and 10 casino table games, including Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Holdem and Stud Poker. The casino is attached to a casino and a bar, too. The Grand Casino floor is open eight hours a night, from 8pm until 4am. Call +216 72 240 777 to contact Grand Casino Yasmine.
Grand Casino Kantaoui (Sousse) - Grand Casino Kantaoui is open 11 hours a day, from 5pm until 4 am. On holidays, the casino opens two hours earlier at 3pm. The casino floor holds 50 slots and 10 gaming tables, including Stud Poker, Blackjack, Roulette and Punto Banco. The contact information for Grand Casino Kantaoui is +216 73 347 777 and +216 73 817 277.
Casino La Medina (Yasmine Hammamet) - Casino La Medina is the rare daytime casino, being opened from 8am until 4pm. The restaurant at Casino la Medina serves Lebanese food. The casino houses 100 slot machines and video poker machines, as well as 13 gaming tables. These tables offer Blackjack, American Roulette, Punto Banco and Stud Poker games.
Tunisia is site of the historical city of Carthage. Carthage was an imperial power in the ancient world and the most famous rival of the Roman Republic. Eventually, the Romans and Carthigians fought three wars for control of the central and western Mediterranean.
The famous Carthiginian general Hannibal kept an army in Italy for the better part of the 17 years of second of these wars, known to history as the Punic Wars. All three wars ended with the defeat of Carthage, and the third war saw the destruction of the city of Carthage altogether.
Carthage passed into Roman myth, as Virgil's Aeneid told of a tragic love story between the mythical founder of Rome, the Trojan Aeneas, and the mythical queen of Carthage, Dido. Carthage remained an important part of the Roman Empire. Though 40% of Tunisia is desert, the other 60% is considered exceptionally fertile, so much so that Tunis became known as the breadbasket of Rome.
Carthage was Romanized for the next six or so centuries and either Tunisia or Algeria was the birthplace of Saint Augustine, a 5th-century Roman bishop whose writings were highly influential in the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. In the late 5th century, the Vandals, a Germanic tribe, migrated through Spain into Carthage, settling North Africa for the next century.
The Byzantine emperor, Justinian, reconquered North Africa for his version of the Roman Empire in the 6th century, though the struggle weakened both the local Roman/Germanic peoples and the Byzantine Empire.
This strife made North Africa ripe for conquest in the 7th century, when the Arab Muslims conquered all of North Africa, including Tunisia, within a few years time. The Arabs would compete with local Berber chieftains for control of Tunisia for the next several centuries, though Tunisia has been staunchly Muslim ever since.
The Normans conquered Tunisia for a few short years in the 12th century, while the Spanish conquered several Tunisian coastal cities in the 16th century. Otherwise, Tunisia has been under Muslim rule, including three-and-a-half centuries under the Berber Hafsid Dynasty. After the Spanish made their short foray into Tunisia, the Ottoman Turks reconquered all of Tunisia.
The Ottoman Empire would rule Tunisia for the next several centuries, though the Tunisians had virtually autonomy, as Turkish rule was enforced by imperial govenors, named beys, who typically ruled at their own whims and not those of Turkey.
The Beys made several disastrous financial deals with the French in the mid-19th century, trying to modernize their country. Instead, Tunisia slipped further and further under French control. The British and French made a secret deal over Tunisia in 1878, which led to a French occupation in 1880. France would control Tunisia until 1956, except for the years 1942-1943, when the Western Allies invaded Vichy-controlled Tunisia and occupied North Africa in anticipation of invading Axis-Controlled Sicily and Italy.
Despite this fact, Tunisians began actively seeking independence as early as 1920, when the Destour Party formed to gain independence. The Destour leader, Habib Bourguiba, spent many years in French prisons. After the disastrous and brutal Algerian War of the 1950's, the French ceded independence to their North African territories. Bourguiba became the first President of independent Tunisia.
Tunisia remains a republic to this day, though it is ruled by a single political party and a strong president. Bourguiba ruled until 1987, when he was deposed in a bloodless coup by the current president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The Tunisian president faces little opposition in his reelection process, which takes place every five years. Freedom of speech and other human rights are restricted.
At the same time, Tunisia is thought to have the best economy on the African continent. President Ben Ali aggressively holds Islamic fundamentalism down. Tunisia has built a number of hotel communities along the coast, which explains how a Muslim country can boast four casinos. Tunisia is the first Mediterranean nation to sign a treaty with the European Union, called an association agreement.
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