The news is everywhere! The Eastern Republic of Uruguay sells recreational marijuana, legalised the drug on July 19, and has increased its THC level to 9 percent from 2 percent. Apart from their drug-friendliness, Uruguay is also known for its beach-lined coast and grassy interior. These three are quite interesting but not as interesting as gambling and casinos in this South American country.
Uruguay is a country widely known for its democracy, freedom, equality, and rapid decline in government corruption. On the same note of these positive attributes, the laws of gambling in Uruguay is far more effective than the laws of other countries.
For one, the government has been allowing the nation’s citizens and visitors to gamble in casinos and other gambling facilities for the past 100 years. When compared to other South American nations like Chile, Colombia and Peru, Uruguay stands out for its gambling-friendliness. The gambling history of other South American nations either had to fumble for selfish political or baseless religious reasons.
In 1921, Hotel Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco and Spa was established as the first casino in Uruguay. It is still in business, which makes it the oldest Uruguayan casino in the gambling industry. In fact, it is one of the oldest casinos in South America. However, the El Hipodromo Nacional de Maroñas racetrack (located in Montevideo) has been accepting horse racing wagers since 1847.
Not until 1984, gambling in Uruguay was peaceful and perfectly impeccable. In 1984, there was a switch in overall control from a socialist military government to a democratically elected government. The switch was unfortunate for gambling institutions and activities.
The catastrophe came to an end in 1996 when the “mixed system” was introduced. This unique system of shared responsibility allowed the government to pocket 35 to 45 percent of all the profits made by casinos and gambling facilities. The percentage might seem too much, but it’s reasonable for the operators because the state government was actually responsible for the greater percentage of gambling operations.
In addition to the shared responsibility, the government issued licenses to private institutions without a hassle and gave zero limitations on the number of games and machines a gambling facility can offer. Security, equipment supply, promotions, and the design of buildings are all that was needed from the institutions.
Despite the fact that the majority of such systems tend to be prone to failure, Uruguay’s mixed system has been working perfectly. Today, Uruguay is home to a lot of successful casinos, gambling facilities, and gambling activities.
As discussed earlier, Uruguay is—arguably—the paradise for gamblers in South America and maybe the whole world. Casinos and other gambling institutions, once licensed and regulated by the Uruguayan Casino Control Board, are completely legal.
The total number of casinos and other gambling institutions (excluding sports betting providers) currently operating in Uruguay is 35, with the greatest percentage in Montevideo.
Uruguay is one of those countries that attract tourists with its gambling atmosphere. Most casinos have staffs fluent in both English and Spanish. The friendliness offered by the natives is on another level. Tourists will most likely feel at home in this small South American country.
Uruguayan businesses offer gambling activities to citizens and tourists in 15 cities. Regions such as Artigas, Canelones, Colonia del Sacramento, Montevideo, and Punta del Este have the highest number of casinos. Montevideo, the country’s capital, offers six different gambling facilities.
Casinos Del Estado Vitoria Plaza and Radisson Hotel is the largest casino in Montevideo and Uruguay, with 14+ table games, 500+ gaming machines, and two poker rooms. But according to space, Casino Carrasco & Sofitel Montevideo is the largest casino. There are approximately 32,000 square feet of space for players to comfortably gamble.
Uruguayans and visitors enjoy a wide variety of games and gambling facilities. Traditional casinos, racinos, sports betting, pari-mutuel betting, poker rooms and horse racing tracks are the most visited gambling facilities and activities in the country.
With more than 20 facilities, traditional casinos (plus poker rooms) are easily the leader of all other types of casinos in Uruguay. Sports betting is also loved in Uruguay, with Codere alone operating more than 27 land-based sports betting providers. The El Hipodromo Nacional de Maroñas (located in Montevideo) and Hipódromo Las Piedras (located in Las Piedras) are the only two race tracks or racinos in Uruguay. Yet, they both receive a gigantic amount of visitors every day.
Bingo, on the other hand, is on the negative side. The two places citizens and visitors are likely to play bingo are churches and charity drives. Furthermore, online gambling is perfectly placed in-between legalisation and the opposite. This is similar to other South American countries as they omit regulatory bodies to license and regulate online gambling providers. Concurrently, Uruguayans and visitors are allowed to gamble online without any problem.
Lastly, the lottery business has been state-monopolised. The Loterias y Quinielas is one of the few lotteries in Uruguay, and it’s conducted by the government. The scale is smaller than other South American countries. As a result, it’s safe to say most Uruguayans do not patronise lottery providers.
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Uruguay.
Cabo Santa Maria Hotel Casino & Casino La Paloma
Casino Carrasco Hotel
Casino de Estado Victoria Plaza
Casino Parque Hotel
Casino Piriapolis Argentino
Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino
El HipÓdromo Nacional de Maroñas
Hipódromo Las Piedras
Hotel and Casino Nogaro
Hotel Casino Carmelo
Hotel Casino San Eugenio del Cuareim
Mantra Resort Spa & Casino
Radisson Hotel and Casino Colonia del Sacramento
Rivera Casino and Resort
Sala 18 de Julio
Sala Colonia Centro
Sala de Fray Bentos
Sala Las Piedras
Sala Montevideo Shopping
Sala Punta Shopping
Sala San Jose
Sala Treinta y Tres
Salto Hotel and Casino
– Anyone aged 18 or higher can gamble in Uruguay, similar to other nations.
– Uruguay is the second smallest nation in all of South America, with a population of approximately 3.5 million.
– More than 50 percent of all the population lives in Montevideo, the capital state.
– With gambling alone, Uruguay makes nothing less than $100 million in tax revenue annually.
– In 2015, the Uruguayan Casino Control Board stated that gross gaming revenues went up seven percent while slot parlours’ net income increased by 9.5 percent — when compared to 2014.
– Online gambling in Uruguay is similar to other South American countries: placed in the grey side.
– All the lotteries in Uruguay are operated by the government.