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Seychelles Online Casinos

SeychellesThe Republic of Seychelles is one of the smallest African nations in both population and size. Just 90,000 people live in this island nation, which sits a little under 1,000 miles off Africa’s eastern coast. Made up of 115 different islands, the country earned its Independence from the UK in 1976, and today relies heavily on tourism to fuel its economy, though efforts at diversification have taken hold over the last few years.

Along with beautiful landscapes and a diverse collection of wildlife, casinos also act as a tourism draw for this country. The nation has also taken a stab at becoming yet another regulator of the Internet gambling industry, but despite legislation that should allow it to do so, there has been little movement seen towards making this dream a reality.

Full Range of Gaming Options Available

The gaming industry in Seychelles is currently governed by the Gambling Act of 2014, which sets the rules for the several venues in the small country that offer some form of betting. Chief among these are three resorts that have casinos among their amenities. Those venues include the following:

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  • The Kempinski Seychelles Resort: Home to Casino Paradiso, this luxury resort features limited gambling opportunities, as their casino is only open from 8 pm until 4 am each night. Along with a handful of slot machines, players can enjoy various forms of roulette, blackjack, and poker-themed table games.
  • Victoria International Casino: Located in the Pirates Arms Building (a famous venue in the capital city of Victoria), this facility includes about 30 gaming machines and more than a dozen tables.
  • Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort: Once again, this is a relatively small operation that is situated as a part of an absolutely gorgeous resort venue. With about 50 machines and 11 tables that spread roulette, blackjack, and poker, this is regarded as the largest of the casinos in the country.

There are a few other betting options out there for those who want to step outside the bounds of a resort (and with all the natural beauty in these islands, you really should). As of 2011, sports betting has been regulated and licensed in the country, as the government allowed a start-up company to take small bets on international sporting events. There is also a national lottery run through a group known as Sey Lotto, though the prizes are usually quite small – not surprising, given the limited population of players to draw on.

Regulations Exist for Online Play, But No Licenses

You wouldn’t expect Seychelles to be a hotbed of Internet gambling activity: the small population is unlikely to draw in any major marketing efforts from international operators. However, the government here has taken steps towards becoming a home for online gaming operations in its own right, even if that is nowhere near a reality just yet.

Officials have tried on at least two occasions to set up a regime in which operators could apply for interactive gaming licenses in the country. However, neither attempt has borne any fruit, as setting up the actual infrastructure for this idea has apparently proven more challenging than passing legislation in the first place.

In 2003, the Interactive Gambling Act was expected to open the door for the nation to accept licensing requests. However, it doesn’t appear as though anything was ever done with this opportunity; not only are there no sites that were approved under this law, it isn’t clear that any applications were received for licenses – and it isn’t even certain that the country was ever prepared to handle any such requests had they emerged.

Apparently realizing that these laws were inadequate, iGaming was once again addressed in the 2014 Gambling Act. However, there once again appear to have been no licenses awarded thus far, and there is no obvious path available via information supplied by the government. In other words, while the idea of getting a Seychelles Internet gambling license may be a theoretical possibility, we’re not sure how anyone would actually go about doing so in reality.

Given this state of affairs, the only way for anyone in the nation to bet over the web would be through a foreign-based site. While there are laws on the books that would fine players for betting on unlicensed sites, it doesn’t appear that these have ever been enforced; we imagine that would only become a possibility when (and if) locally regulated sites entered the market.

Given the lack of regulations, you can expect that the major operators who generally only conduct business in areas where they can be licensed will not show their heads here. However, that still leaves a great number of real money sites that are happy to accept play from residents of Seychelles. You can find a wide variety of games from these companies, including titles from the following developers:

  • Microgaming
  • NetEnt
  • Betsoft
  • RTG
  • Topgame

Progress Comes Slowly, But Surely

Believe it or not, there’s actually a fair amount of activity in the Seychelles casino industry. That’s not to say that you should expect anything groundbreaking to happen over the next few years, but if you have an interest in the goings on of the islands here, there are a couple events to be aware of.

First, a new competitor is set to enter the market, and it could offer the best brick-and-mortar service for gamblers yet. Club Liberte, which will be located in the Four Seasons Resort at Petite Anse, will feature a total of 30 gaming machines as well as blackjack, roulette, and poker. Perhaps of most interest to high roller will be an exclusive VIP room that will offer punto banco (baccarat) along with the standard games. The facility is scheduled to open in July 2016.

Meanwhile, the Pirates Arms Building is scheduled to be demolished early in the same year. The landmark building will be reconstructed over the course of the next three years. It’s hard to say what this will mean for the Victoria International Casino, but we imagine that the $31 million renovation will include room for the business, as current tenants are supposed to be given priority when the property is reopened.

And then, of course, there is the ongoing saga of Internet gaming licenses. Will this project ever get off the ground? There isn’t much reliable information out there, so we’re afraid to say that your guess is as good as ours. However, it would be nice to see a solid regulatory regime put into place here; it could prove to be an entryway for operators who want to target emerging markets in Africa, something that doesn’t specifically exist in the market today.

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