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Barbados Online Casinos

BarbadosBarbados is a small island nation that rests southeast of the Caribbean Sea, though it is still generally considered to be a part of that region. Like many nations in that area, it benefits from a reputation for warm weather and beautiful landscapes, features that have made it a major tourism destination. While the island is quite small, it is densely populated: more than 280,000 people live here on the former English colony that is still sometimes called Little England.

While many Caribbean nations have added casinos to solidify their tourism industries, Barbados has so far resisted this temptation, instead hoping to maintain their reputation as a family-friendly and laid-back destination for visitors. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any gaming on the island, however, as there are plenty of ways to place a bet, and many locals also visit online gambling sites in order to play their favorite games.

Nation Resists Full Gaming Industry, For Now

If you head to Barbados without any forethought, you might assume that there will be at least a few small resort casinos waiting for you when you arrive. After all, many Caribbean islands are known for their gaming industries, so it is easy to assume that they all feature similar rules and regulations for gambling.

But that is not the case here. While the topic has been brought up on many occasions, there has been no strong effort to bring casinos to the country. The discussion may have been hottest in the 1990s, when the government held public consultations to see if there was an appetite for a change in policies. But successive governments have strongly opposed any such expansion, even as members of the tourism and hotel industries have suggested that it could be a way to add new attractions and help the country compete against its neighbors.

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There is one minor exception to this rule, as tourists can play in casinos that are stationed aboard cruise ships thanks to a law passed in 2012. However, even these operations are off limits for locals, and they can only open up their gambling facilities after 6 pm at night.

If you’re simple looking for slots, however, you’ll have a few more options. Machine gaming is not entirely illegal, which means that some hotels and social clubs have them available for players. One popular destination is the Lucky Horseshoe, which has several locations across the island.

Horse racing is also quite popular here, and though there is only one track, it is an important one: the Garrison Savannah. The track hosts the annual Barbados Gold Cup, and has been home to racing since 1905, when imperial British troops were stationed in the area. As with most tracks worldwide, parimutuel wagering is offered on races throughout the season.

There is also a national lottery, which is run by the Barbados Lottery Association. Operated by international firm GTECH, the lottery offers a variety of different instant games and regularly scheduled drawings, including Caribbean Lotto and Mega 6.

Despite all of these options, however, there are a few things you won’t find anywhere on the island. There are no table games, so you cannot play blackjack, baccarat, roulette or similar standards. Similarly, there are no poker rooms here, nor is there any legal sports betting.

No Online Restrictions, But No Regulation Either

The issue of online gambling hasn’t gotten much play here. There has been no notable effort to regulate the industry and offer licenses to operators; similarly, the government hasn’t taken much of an interest in stopping citizens from seeking out games themselves. Given the lack of regulation, operating a site from this country would likely be illegal; however, there has been nothing to suggest that it is against the law for citizens to gamble online, nor has any effort been made to block “unregulated” sites from other nations.

The upshot of all this is that it is easy for both Barbadians and tourists to play at Internet gambling sites from the nation if they want to do so. This is a true grey market – there are no regulations for the industry, but also no signs that the country wants to stop operators from marketing here – which means that many major operators and developers are happy to offer real money play on the island. The following are a few of the well-known gaming companies whose products can be played from here:

  • Microgaming
  • NetEnt
  • Betsoft
  • RTG
  • Rival

Casino Conversation Isn’t Going Away

No matter how hard the island may resist the concept, there are still those in Barbados who feel that the time has come to bring casinos to the country. For the first time, it appears that at least some members of the ruling party are open to the idea, even as others have said that they will always oppose any such expansion of the gambling industry.

One proponent has been Sunil Chatrani, who is the chairman of the Barbados Hotel Tourism Association. According to Chatrani, firm steps must be taken to shore up the country’s tourism industry, which he says is not currently sustainable in the face of increased competition throughout the Caribbean. While much of his discussion was about the protection of the island’s environment and infrastructure, he also suggested that the time had come for new discussions on resort gaming.

Still, any such effort faces an uphill battle. Social conservatism runs deep in the nation: even though many other limited forms of gaming are prevalent, Las Vegas-style gambling might just be too much to get past the populace and legislators alike. Nonetheless, it’s something to keep an eye on, especially if the island’s tourism numbers decline in the years to come.

Internet gambling, on the other hand, is unlikely to get much attention here: it isn’t a major tourism draw, and as such isn’t at the forefront for discussions on casino expansion. However, this isn’t all bad news, as it means that players here should continue to enjoy a wide range of excellent options provided by foreign operators.

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