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The Top Bahamas Online Casino Sites for 2020

Bahamas

Situated between the coast of Florida, Cuba, and Hispaniola, the island nation of the Bahamas is a former English colony that is now an independent British Commonwealth. The small country is now a haven for tourists, which has brought significant wealth to the 300,000 or so citizens who live there.

The Bahamas are also known for legalized gambling for foreigners, as the islands have hosted casinos since 1969 – a move that played a big part in turning the nation into a major tourism destination.

Online gambling laws are, on paper at least, very strict in the Bahamas. However, action is not taken to apply the laws which exist which means that online gambling is still a popular choice for locals. 

A 2013 referendum designed to create a national lottery was rejected, meaning that citizens of the Bahamas technically had no legal gambling options. This changed in 2014 with the Gaming Act, but not as much as people expected, with licenses for Bahamas online casino sites being restrictive at best. 

While this has resulted in a shortage of local online gambling sites, international gambling operators are not blocked from providing their services in the country.

There is also no legal action taken against locals who choose to play at these foreign operated sites, resulting in online gambling being widespread in the country, despite the law changes. 

If you’re looking for a reputable and secure online casino in the Bahamas, then you’ve come to the right place. Our online gambling experts have rounded up the very best Bahamian casino sites in the industry. Take your pick from the licensed sites below, and start enjoying a safe yet fun gambling experience in the Bahamas today:

Best Bahamas Casinos Online in 2020

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The Legality of Online Gambling in the Bahamas 

In January 2013, the Bahamas held a referendum asking voters about two proposals to clarify this situation. The first question was whether they would support the regulation and taxation of the web shops, bringing them out of the shadows and under government supervision. A second question asked what if they would support the establishment of a National Lottery in the country, either in conjunction with or as an alternative to the web shops.

As has long been the case here, there was significant religious opposition to the legalization of these forms of gambling, and that seems to have won the day. Over 80,000 votes were cast on both questions, and in both cases, about 60% of voters came down against the proposals. The result is that many people here are still playing in these illegal locations, but no oversight exists for them.

Given the general anti-gambling sentiment in government (at least in terms of what residents are allowed to enjoy), it should come as little surprise that there are no licenses available for online casinos in the Bahamas. While the Caribbean does have other jurisdictions where Internet gaming companies are based out of, this is not one of them – and such sites are not permitted to operate here.

That said, we’ve already talked about how lax enforcement of these laws can be, and this seems to be the case over the Internet as well. Just as the web shops operate in plain sight, many Bahamans choose to make bets at online casino sites, sports books, and other operations while facing no consequences or real threat of seeing the sites shut down. Many operators – at least those who don’t restrict themselves to regulated markets – clearly feel similarly, as there is an abundance of online casinos for Bahamas players to choose from.

This number only increased in 2014, when certain online gambling activity was legalized under the Gambling Act. This meant some Bahamian casinos could apply for licenses which allow some at home gambling, but these are limited, and as a result, the market is still dominated by unregulated foreign operators.


Software Developers at Bahamas Online Casinos 

Given the relative openness of this market, there are a number of different software providers that offer their games to players here. If you’re connecting to an online casino from the Bahamas, you’ll see many of the most popular software developers represented among the sites here, including:

  • Evolution Gaming

While the rest of the online casino world focused on slot games, Evolution Gaming saw the growing potential in the live dealer game market, and capitalized with style. By far the biggest name in live dealer games, variations of blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more can be found in the Evolution live dealer selection.

Microgaming provide some of the most famous slots in the online world, from progressive jackpot slots like Mega Moolah to video slots like the epic Immortal Romance, which holds one of the highest RTP percentages of any online slot. Microgaming offer a courtesy table game selection too, but slots are the focus here. 

NetEnt are similar to Microgaming in the popularity of their slots selection. Again, progressive jackpots are available from Mega Fortune Dreams to Divine Fortune, while video slots include favourites like Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst. NetEnt also have a broad casino games selection, including a good number of table and card games, and a high-quality live dealer suite. 

  • Playtech

Playtech are also know for top-quality slots, and arguably have the most popular progressive jackpot slots in the iGaming market. The Age of the Gods series now includes several slots with an interlinked jackpot and tend to create millionaires a few times per year.


Payment Methods at Online Gambling Sites in The Bahamas

Payment methods at online casino in the Bahamas are varied, but there are some banking options locals are more comfortable with. Below, we’ve listed the most popular payment options you’ll come across top Bahamas online casinos:

Debit and Credit Card

There have been no reported issues when it comes to paying with Visa and other credit card options for Bahamas online casino play. However, some players are uncomfortable letting their bank know where their money is going, and sharing their banking details with an online casino, meaning this method is dropping in popularity. 

e-Wallets

PayPal is the best-known e-Wallet service in the Bahamas but is not available at many online casinos. Neteller and Skrill are more readily available and are used more often as a result. However, these methods can result in refusal for certain online casino bonuses, so we recommend checking an offer’s terms and conditions first before claiming it and depositing cash. 

Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies haven’t gained too much traction in the Bahamian online casino market yet, but that’s slowly starting to change. The strict Bahamas gambling laws lead to local players favouring secrecy, so cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin are becoming a preferred payment option.  Hence, Bitcoin casinos are growing, but there are still limited options compared to other payment methods. In a few years, if gambling laws stay the same, Bitcoin will likely become a big part of the online casino market in the Bahamas. 


Bahamas Gambling Industry for Tourists Only

Ever since the 1920s, there has been a zone of the Bahamas that has been permitted to offer casino gambling at hotels. There were always general bans on gaming, but restrictions on who could play at facilities like the Bahamian Club were enough to allow some of these venues to stay open, at least seasonally.

In 1939, there was once again a complete legal ban on such locations, but with a couple small casinos operating with tacit government approval, it was clear that either the laws had to change, or officials would have to step in and shut down even these limited operations. Officials chose the first path, deciding to allow the government to exempt any person or entity from the ban if it wished to do so. That led to a licensing program, and several reputable owners were thus brought into the newly legal gaming industry.

One of the major qualifications of this effort, however, was the exclusion of most locals from playing in the casinos. While tourists were welcome to gamble their money away, those from the Bahamas or working and residing in the country could not (a clause which notably allowed retirees to enjoy the resorts as well). In addition, since the government had no real interest in a large-scale gambling industry, they refused to allow more licenses after the first round of exemptions.

That policy changed in the 1960s. With many developers interested in building on Grand Bahama and Paradise Island, lawmakers were able to pass laws over strong religious opposition in 1969, allowing for the regulation and taxation of casinos. Today, tourists and gamblers enjoy playing at the Atlantis Resort at Paradise Island, the Baha Mar, and the Memories Grand Bahama Beach Resort. However, the old restrictions are still in place: if you live and work here, or were born in the country, you can’t actually place any bets.

That doesn’t for a single second suggest that Bahamans aren’t actually gambling a whole lot, however. There are numerous locations known as “web shops” where individuals can walk in and place bets on American lotteries, for instance, and there has been little effort to actually crack down on the practice.


The Future of Online Gambling in the Bahamas 

There is little to say about what’s coming for the future of the gaming industry in the Bahamas. Little has changed in the last few decades, and with the recent referendums showing very strong opposition to the idea of regulating other aspects of the industry, it’s hard to imagine any sweeping changes coming anytime soon.

There are a few issues that need to be addressed, as there are anywhere. The future of Baha Mar is uncertain, with issues between the developers of the resort putting the facility into bankruptcy court. Everyone involved agrees that the Baha Mar is a wondrous resort in a great location, but between the various Chinese, Swiss, and other developers and executives involved in the project, there has been plenty of blame to throw around as to why the project hasn’t quite worked out yet.

But overall, the Bahamas remain a very attractive destination for tourists, which mean that the limited amount of gambling allowed by the government will continue to bring in significant revenues for the foreseeable future. At the same time, it is hard to imagine that any further expansion will take place: there’s just too much organized opposition to the idea to let a real movement take hold, meaning that illegal facilities will remain the go-to option for local gamblers.

Online gaming is also unlikely to receive a hard look from legislators in the country. While it’s certainly possible that this situation could change someday, we don’t expect to see regulated Internet gambling take hold here in a time frame that we can project. On the bright side, the status quo should be maintained, meaning that players are unlikely to face any government pushback in either the brick-and-mortar or Internet gaming sectors, so we expect online gambling to continue to rise in popularity over the coming years. 

The Gaming Act of 2014 showed some willingness for movement in the country, but it is still a long way away from full online casino regulation, and that doesn’t look likely to change any time soon.

Bahamas Online Casinos FAQ

Gambling is legal in the Bahamas in some cases. Land-based casinos are open only to foreigners, and not to locals. In terms of online gambling, this is not technically legal apart from limited licenses for local operators. However offshore operators are free to provide their services in the country, and many Bahamians enjoy regular play at online gambling sites without repercussion.

As the laws are lax in the Bahamas, there are no shortage of online casinos that locals are able to play at. In fact, there are so many, that it can be hard to know which is the best. Luckily, our gambling experts have done the hard work for you and have listed the best online casinos in the Bahamas right here on this page.

Trust is an important factor when it comes to online casinos. Since the online gambling market is unregulated in the Bahamas, it’s difficult to find a genuine and legitimate casino site. We highly recommend only joining sites licensed by reputable gambling authorities. We also advise checking out our expert and unbiased casino reviews, to ensure you pick the best and safest choice.

There are five major brick and mortar casinos in the Bahamas. These are the Atlantis Paradise Island Casino & Sportsbook, Baha Mar Hotel and Casino, Island Luck in Nassau, Resort World Bimini Resort-Casino, and the Grand Lucayan Resort and Casino on Grand Bahama Island. These are all very swanky casinos designed to entice tourist traffic.

The legal gambling age in Bahamas is 18. Any tourist looking to access one of the popular, high-end casinos in the country must carry identification to prove they are 18. Online casino play also requires a player to be 18, but since the market is still relatively unregulated, some sites have their own age limits, which can be 21 or even 25.

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