Turks and Caicos Islands Gambling
Gambling laws in the Turks and Caicos Islands
By Reno Rollins
Gambling is legal in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Visitors to the islands can enjoy casinos, slot machines, poker and a national lottery.
When casinos were constructed on the islands, local residents were barred from entering. In 2007, however, Premier Michael Misick said that the government intended to remove restrictions on residents who earn at least $50,000 per year.
Casinos in the Turks and Caicos Islands
Currently, there are two casinos operating on the Turks and Caicos Islands. They are:
- Casablanca Casino (Grace Bay Road, Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks ad Caicos Islands) Open daily from 7pm until 5am, this casino offers 85 gaming machines and 14 table and poker games (including: American Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Poker and Texas Holdem). One bar is also located on the premises. For more information, call (649) 941-3737 or visit their website at www.casablanca.tc. Opened for business in 2007.
- The Players Club (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands) Opens Sunday thru Thursday from 4pm until 2am and Friday and Saturday from 4pm until 4am. The casino offers 38 gaming machines and four poker table. Opened for business in 2006.
Lottery in the Turks and Caicos Islands
The lottery arrived in the Turks and Caicos Islands on March 21st, 2005. It is operated by the Leeward Islands Lottery Holding Company, which is a GTECH company.
Initially, 19 lottery agents were located in Providenciales, but outlets were expected in Grand Turk and the remaining islands. Proceeds from the lottery go to youth, sports and education. Jackpots can reach as high as millions of U.S. dollars.
LILHCo is a multi-state, multi-currency lottery with games offered in U.S. Dollars, Netherlands Antilles Florin, Barbados Dollars and Eastern Caribbean Dollars. Games include:
- Scratch ticket games
Turks and Caicos Islands Slot Machines
Besides being offered in casinos, slot machines can also be found in bars and restaurants throughout the islands. The largest land-based gaming operator on the Turks and Caicos Islands is Carib Gaming. They currently have games in over 25 locations.
Poker on Turks and Caicos Islands
Poker is both legal and popular on the Turks and Caicos Islands. Annual events include the TCI International Poker Tournament and the WPT Turks and Caicos Classic.
One of the top local players is Rhynie Campbell, who walked away as champion of the 207 WPT Turks and Caicos Classic.
Internet Gambling on Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Islands have the distinction of being the birthplace of Internet gambling. The first virtual casino, Internet Casinos Inc., debuted from the islands in 1995. As of this writing, it does not appear as if any online casinos are based on the islands.
Turks and Caicos Islands Information
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the West Indies. The two island groups are located southeast of the Bahamas and north of Hispaniola. There are eight main islands and 20 smaller islands. The United Nations considers them a Non-Self-Governing Territory.
The Caicos Islands are the larger of the two. It is comprised of the following islands:
- West Caicos
The Turks Islands are separated from the Caicos Islands by the Turks Island Passage. The estimated population of this island chain is just under 6,000. The two main islands are:
- Grand Turk
First populated by Carib Amerindians, the islands were later discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The Spanish began raiding the island for slaves, and it was also used as a pirate base in the early 18th century. In 1799, the islands were annexed by Britain as part of the Bahamas.
In 1873, the islands were made part of the Jamaica colony. In 1917, it was suggested that they join Canada, but this did not occur. They were considered a separate colony in 1959, but were also considered a part of the Federation of the West Indies until 1962.
The Canadian government has seemed interested in annexing the islands on several occasions, but it has never come to pass. At one point, the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands even approached Canada about the matter, but the ruling party at that time was not interested.
In 2004, a government official from Canada visited the island to explore the idea of annexation. He drafted a motion to further explore the possibility, but his party rejected it. Later that year, the Provincial Legislature of Nova Scotia passed a motion inviting the islands of Turks and Caicos to join their province in a union.
In 2006, the total population of the islands was estimated to be 32,000. The majority of the residents are both black and Protestant Christian. Other religions include Baptist, Anglican, Methodist and Seventh-Day Adventist.
The economy of the islands is based around tourism, offshore financial services and fishing. By 2006, over 200,000 tourists were visiting the islands each year. Agriculture is also important, as the islands produce maize, cassava, beans and citrus fruits. Major exports include lobster, conch and conch shells.
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