Haiti is located in the Caribbean and it is a country that has been through very unfortunate events in the last decade. You may be wondering what is the gambling scene in the country and if there are any laws that regulate this industry. If you are interested in the gambling sector of Haiti, then you can continue reading.
HISTORY OF GAMBLING IN HAITI
After many years of political distress, Haiti became independent at the end of the Haitian Revolution that continued between 1791 and 1804. The revolution put an end of slavery in the country and this lead to a new chapter in Haiti’s history.
For many years gambling was the least concern of people of Haiti but, in 1960, then-President François Duvalier passed a law that legalized gambling on the territory of the Caribbean country. Before the legalization of gambling, there was a very popular casino in Haiti that enjoyed quite the attention despite being deemed illegal.
Thanks to the new law, there were hopes that investors who have been recently chased by Cuba will see the potential of the growing gambling scene in Haiti. Despite the changes in the law, many did not take it seriously as the only way for casinos to operate legally was to be located in hotels with 200 or more rooms. Back then, as well as now, there were no such hotels in Haiti. This paradox made the legalization of gambling quite contradictory.
According to that law, if hotels could not welcome that many guests, their gaming rooms could offer only 7 or fewer table games. In addition to that, gambling facilities could provide only certain games that were allowed by the law. As years passed, by 1989, there was only 1 casino in Haiti that hosted about 15 table games, which was above the allowed maximum. In addition to that, the casino offered several slot machines that were not authorized.
The government forced the casino operator to pay a tax that amounted to 40% of the casino’s gross profits. What is more, players also had to pay 5% of their winnings as a tax. After Haiti’s president was replaced in 1989, the gambling regulations became lax and taxation was almost completely neglected. This led to a total of 5 casinos operating in Haiti during the following years.
CURRENT GAMBLING SITUATION
In 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, leaving the country to deal with the consequences of the natural disaster. The gambling industry was also affected by the earthquake, with a majority of the legal casinos in Haiti ceasing their operation after the disaster.
One casino, however, decided to take the risk and continue operating, offering several table games and slots to gambling fans. El Rancho Hotel & Casino decided to renovate and expand its casino facility. This made it a very popular destination for tourists and locals who can currently bet on roulette, poker, blackjack and several slot machines at Casino El Rancho. The other casino facility that still operates in Haiti is Four Aces which is a smaller gaming room that offers fewer gaming options.
Even though land-based casinos are currently legal in Haiti, they are not regulated. Due to the current struggling situation in the country, the gambling industry is far from being anyone’s top priority. The fact that many territories in Haiti are still lacking basic necessities like electricity and water slows down the growth of the gambling industry and many other businesses in the country.
Even though the number of land-based casinos in Haiti is limited, there are no online casino operators based in the country. Since there is no regulation on online gambling, players located in Haiti will have to resort to offshore operators if they wish to enjoy a virtual casino experience. There is a full list of casino games available to players in Haiti that can be explored online.
CASINOS IN HAITI
As it was mentioned earlier, among all land based casinos in Haiti, there are two prominent locations where locals and tourists can find several table games and slots. Although they are not properly regulated, they are still considered to operate legally on the territory of the Caribbean country.
Casino El Rancho hosts about 100 slot machines that many players would find entertaining. There are also about 13 table games that include blackjack and roulette variations and for those who enjoy card games, there are also a couple of poker tables. NH Haiti El Rancho Hotel is where the casino is located and it offers its guests a wonderful experience. Near the hotel, there are popular tourist attractions like the National Pantheon Museum of Art and the Holy Trinity Cathedral. NH Haiti El Rancho is also among the best casinos in Haiti according to Trip Advisor.
Four Aces is the other casino that Haitian players often visit. It is located on the second floor of the Sunrise Supermarket building. The casino offers a number of slot and video poker machines that visitors might enjoy. There are also live tables that will allow players to bet on roulette and blackjack variations. For high-rollers, the casino has prepared a special VIP room where they can enjoy riskier bets.