With massive Belize, Barrier Reef and its islands called cayes, the Caribbean Sea shorelines, dense jungle, towering pyramid, and Maya ruins (such as the Altun Ha, Lamanai, Cahal Pech, Caracol, Xunantunich, and Lubaantun) amongst others, Belize is a historic and historical country. Moving on to its gambling industry, we have another historic—but not historical—feature — although limited, but still fascinating. However, did you know Belize is one of the few South American countries with English and Spanish as their official languages?
Between 1500 BC and 1200 BC, Belize flourished with Mayan innovations and civilization until around 1000 AD. After this period, Belize was in silence until the 16th century, when series of European settlements were established. In the 17th century, Belize was colonized by the British Empire.
Officially, Belize was named the “Colony of British Honduras” in 1840 by Great Britain. The colony was run by British officials till it was permitted a full internal self-governance in 1964. In 1973, the name was officially changed from the “Colony of British Honduras” to “Belize.” On 21 September 1981, Belize gained full independence.
Since independence, Belize have been disputing with fellow American country Guatemala over the region. With help from other countries, Belize have stayed on its feet. The noticeable pioneering of gambling in Belize can be drawn to the year 1995 when the Computer Wagering Licensing Act was introduced and passed.
The Act was meant to “legalize wagering by Computer Internet,” so one could assume that land-based casinos must have been legalized beforehand. Yet, there are little to no information about the legalization of land-based casinos and other gambling facilities. The only useful detail is that land-based casinos are covered under the Gaming Control Act, which was introduced between 1998 and 2000. So, the fact is: they are legal, licensed, and regulated.
The Computer Wagering Licensing Act makes Belize one of the earliest countries to legalize online gambling. Also, it established the Computer Wagering Licensing Board, which is in charge of all things related to gambling and gaming in the country.
In 2004, the then-present Prime Minister revised the Computer Wagering Licensing Act and stepped the cost of licensing a betting site down from $50,000 to $15,000. Alongside, there are certain requirements and the Gaming Control Act became effective. Further, the government is said to neglect the gambling activities, but deeply interested in the gambling facilities.
Land-based casinos are limited in Belize. Not even the limited number, but the games and machines offered are limited as well. Summarily, Belize is a country with legal gambling facilities and activities — but the industry is still fragile and immature.
Gambling is quite popular in Belize. Online or offline, the citizens are encouraged to participate in one gambling activity or the other. While the casinos and other gambling activities are legal and monitored by the Computer Wagering Licensing Board, the country is yet to have an impressive gambling industry.
There are 10 gambling facilities currently running in the country. Most of these facilities are on the smaller scale when compared to most other countries. However, Belize have a few noteworthy facilities (which is better discussed in a section below).
When you are in Belize with the aim of gambling effortlessly, you are in the right place. Belize is a fairly exquisite country. There are many tourist attractions made by nature, the Mayans, and the modern Belizeans. The gambling environment is not perfect but at least pleasant enough to entertain numerous visitors and tourists worldwide.
Americans, especially, will love the environment as the country is in a very committed relationship with the United States. In fact, you can gamble at most gambling facilities with either United States or Belizean dollars — or a combination of both. English and
Spanish is the official language, so the majority are welcome. Also, Belizeans are believed to be friendly and the politics are termed “stable,” so Belize is a moderately peaceful country. Regardless of which city you decide to visit, Belize has an amazing nightlife.
When there are just ten facilities in a country, one could expect them to be located in the capital or about three cities. But, in the case of Belize, the 10 casinos are located in seven different cities and towns.
The Belize Princess Hotel and Casino, and Golden Princess Casino are in the country’s largest and capital city, Belize City. San Pedro also offers two facilities: Captain Morgan’s Retreat and The Palace Casino. Castleton Racetrack is located in Burrell Boom while Sta Elena offers the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. San Ignacio Princess Casino is located in San Ignacio while The Placencia Hotel and Residence is located in Placencia. Lastly, Fee Zone Princess Hotel and Casino, and Grand Belize Casino Hotel are located in the city of Corozal.
The noteworthy casinos in Belize are Golden Princess Casino, the Belize Princess Hotel and Casino, The Palace Casino, Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, and Captain Morgan’s Retreat. The largest gambling city is Belize City, with two facilities, 900 gaming machines, and 20 table games. Golden Princess Casino is the largest casino in all regions of Belize, with 500 gaming machines and 24 table games.
Blackjack, slot machines, and poker tables are the popular gambling activities in Belize. However, there are other gaming machines and table games as well. Examples are sports betting and bingo, which are also popular. While a good percentage of these casinos are parts of hotels, resorts and cruise ships, some brick-and-mortar casinos — or overemphasized slot parlors to be precise — are standalone. Also, there is a horse racetrack in the country: the Castleton Racetrack in Burrell Boom.
Belize have a national lottery, which like most South American countries, is operated by the government. At 10’o clock every Sunday morning, the lottery takes place where players have to buy a ticket with BZ$1 and receive two two-digit numbers. Two matching numbers will reward the player with around $100 while four matching numbers can award up to $120,000.
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Belize.
Belize Princess Hotel and Casino
Captain Morgan’s Retreat
Free Zone Princess Hotel and Casino
Golden Princess Casino
Grand Belize Casino Hotel
Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
San Ignacio Princess Casino
The Palace Casino
The Placencia Hotel and Residence
– In Belize, the minimum gambling age is 18 years.
– Under the Gambling Prevention Act, unlicensed gambling activities are covered. Under the Gaming Control Act, licensed gambling facilities are covered.
– Slogold is a facilitator of the licensing of online gambling providers in Belize.
– To run a betting website in Belize, the owner must be of “good character” as considered by the multitude.
– There has been a little controversy about the then-present Prime Minister of Belize who legalized gambling (almost) immediately he became the Prime Minister. The fact that he and his partner — a Palestinian lawyer — have Belizean capitalists as brothers brought up a debate that he and his confidants are selfishly happy to legalize and even “protect” gambling in the country. WorldCasinoIndex is not interested in politics or government issues, but this fact remains.
– When the debate to legalize casinos or not in Belize arose, the PUP government stated that the casinos would only be open to tourists as staffs and customers. Today, both tourists, residents, and citizens participate and work in these casinos.
– In 2004, Pittsburgh prosecutors requested the Belizean government to freeze more than $5 million in CaribSports assets. CaribSports was an online casino that was closed due to a tax fraud by American businessmen Peter Mowad, John Thorn, and Jon Rogers.
– The country’s economy is strongly influenced by tourism, which encompasses gambling.
– In 2004, the licensing fee was reduced from US$50,000 (BZ$100,000) to US$15,000 (BZ$30,000) by the Prime Minister.
– The Palace Casino is probably the oldest casino in Belize. It has been in business since 1995, and most of its properties are still that old.