An archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory and one of the fascinating countries in the whole world. Although small, this archipelago have its coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean and is southeast of the Bahamas. The Providenciales, or Provo, island is home to Scuba-diving sites, luxury resorts, hotels, restaurants and shops, and the expansive Grace Bay Beach.
The Taino and Lucayan peoples inhabited the islands prior European colonization. In 1512, a diverse list of different Europeans sighted the islands and individually claimed the islands. Eventually, the British Empire gained complete power in the following centuries. However, the islands were separately controlled under the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Jamaica.
In 1973, the Bahamas finally gained full independence. As a result, the islands were given their own governor. Ever since then, the Turks and Canucks became an autonomous British Overseas Territory. In 2009, the islands’ self-government was removed because of ministerial corruption allegations. In 2012, the self-government was restored following the nationwide elections.
Pertaining casinos and gambling, the country’s gambling scene was not noticed until August 1995 when the pioneering Internet casino website was established and registered in the Turks and Caicos islands. The website Internet Casinos, Inc. offered 18 casino games at the time. Today, online gambling is considerably popular throughout the country – although not as popular as other countries’. In fact, there are no online casinos currently based in Turks and Caicos.
The first casino, Casablanca Casino, launched in the early 1990s. At the time, only tourists and non-residents were allowed to participate in any form of casino gambling within the islands. In 2007, that rule was eliminated and citizens who earn $75,000 or higher per annum could gamble in casinos. This was to ensure those participating in one form of gambling activity or the other are only playing the games of chance for excitement and not as a way to make a living.
In late-2014, the laws – Casinos Ordinance and Subsidiary Legislation, Gaming Machines Ordinance and Subsidiary Legislation, Turks and Caicos Islands National Lottery Ordinance and Subsidiary Legislation, and Gaming (Occasional Permissions) Ordinance and Subsidiary Legislation – were revised under the Rufus Washington Ewing administration. The revisions have no significant changes to the legalization of gambling in the country.
Further, Allegro Resort & Casino was established in the 2000s but shut down in 2004. The Players Club, similarly, was established in 2006 but shut down 2009. In 2015, the Caicos Royale Casino was launched. Ever since, a number of bars, resorts and hotels have been offering casino games especially slot machines.
Since Turks and Caicos is one of those countries that strengthen their economy with tourism, one would expect the gambling industry to be as large as possible. However, the gambling industry is not competitive or impressive when compared to other Caribbean countries.
Casino gambling and other forms of gambling are legal in Turks and Caicos. There are 14 gambling facilities currently operating within the length and breadth of the country – all situated in the Providenciales island. The gambling scene, though not massive, is pleasant and welcomes tourists delightfully.
The Turks and Caicos Islands is a considerably small location with 616.3 km² area. As a result, the total 14 casinos and other gambling facilities are located in a single destination: Providenciales. Providenciales is the most populated island in Turks and Caicos, and one of the world’s favourite beach destinations.
Nonetheless, Carib Gaming has more than 25 slot parlours in numerous cafés and clubs in distinct locations within the Turks and Caicos Islands. Further, the largest gambling facility in the territory is Casablanca Casino, with 82 gaming machines and 12 table games.
Casino gambling is the most popular form of gambling in Turks and Caicos, and there is a number of casinos in resorts and hotels to show for it. Also, poker is the favourite casino game in the country. In addition to the various poker games available, casinos offer blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, and many more. Slot machines are popular as well, especially those provided by Carib Gaming.
Horse and dog racing is almost nonexistent in this part of the Caribbean because there are no racinos or racetracks. Similar to most Caribbean countries, online gambling is an unregulated but unprosecuted form of gambling. This simply means the country has no regulatory body to regulate online gambling within the country, yet they do not prosecute natives and visitors for accessing offshore online casinos, bingo providers, bookmakers, or lottery operators.
Lottery, on the other hand, is a popular pastime and funds generator in Turks and Caicos. In 2004, the National Lottery Board was created according to the Turks and Caicos Islands National Lottery Ordinance and Subsidiary Legalization to license, regulate and monitor lottery within the country. Leeward Islands Lottery Holding Company Inc. (LiLHCo) was initially given the license to operate lottery draws in 2004. The physical facility was launched in 2005 but soon went bankrupt. The aim of the National Lottery was to generate funds to help youths and the sports and education sectors. Leeward Islands Lottery Holding Company Inc. (LiLHCo) failed, so the license was passed to 1Click Games. 1Click Games operates both online and offline lottery draws within and outside the country.
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Turks and Caicos.
Alexandra Resort – All-inclusive
Caicos Royale Casino
Caribbean Paradise Inn
Grace Bay Club
Kokomo Botanical Resort
Royal Flush Gaming Parlor
Royal West Indies Resort
Silver Palm Guest House Turks and Caicos
The Shore Club Turks and Caicos
Tropicana Show & Supper Club
Villa del Mar Resort
Windsong on the Reef
– Similar to other Caribbean countries, the minimum gambling age in the Turks and Caicos Islands is 18 years.
– In 1995, Internet Casinos, Inc. – which is the world’s very first online casino – registered legally in Turks and Caicos.
– Tropicana Show & Supper Club is not a casino. Rather, they provide bingos every Sunday night.
– The Turks and Caicos Islands International Poker Tournament is a poker tournament which holds in Turks and Caicos annually.
– One episode of the World Poker Tournament of 2007 was held in Turks and Caicos.
– The Desarroloos Hotel Group are to build a luxury resort in the Grace Bay region of Providenciales according to a 2015 agreement with the Turks and Caicos government. The resort is to be operated by the Ritz-Carlton Hotels Company and expected to open in 2021.
– To gamble in a casino, a Turks and Caicos Islander must earn at least $75,000 per year.
– As of 2012, the country is populated by 31,500 citizens and 17,500 foreigners.
– Before 2007, only tourists could participate in any form of casino gambling.
– The Caicos Royale Casino offers the only sportsbook throughout the country. Additionally, sports betting is generally unloved.
– The initial National Lottery operators returned only 20 percent of the total profits to the islands. As a result, the license was cancelled and given to another operator.
– Carib Gaming was established in Turks and Caicos in 2006. Today, they are located in more than 25 cafés and clubs.