After a 2009 that saw many casinos in the Caribbean and surrounding destinations go bust, the islands are again looking to go all in as casino news is popping up everywhere from The Bahamas to Bermuda.
The latest casino news to come out of the islands came this week as Bimini Bay Resort & Marina in The Bahamas announced plans to open a multimillion dollar casino in North Bimini.
This comes roughly two months after Travel Agent learned of Bermuda's plans to get in the casino game. Bermuda’s Minister of Business Development and Tourism, Hon. Wayne L. Furbert told us a bill was recently passed that allows the government to put forward referendums for public consideration. Furbert says a referendum specifically focused on gaming should be expected in the future, but whether it will pass is another story.
Meanwhile in Jamaica, anticipated casinos would be dependent on a minimum amount of rooms in the prospective hotels. At the moment this process is set without a date, but Director of Tourism, John Lynch, had told Travel Agent back in 2010 that he anticipates that Jamaica will see casinos no later than 2013.
But it was St. Lucia that got the casino news rollings again in 2010 when the island opened its first ever casino in the form of the The Treasure Bay Casino. The Treasure Bay Casino has 257 slot machines (90 percent of which are penny slots), nine Blackjack tables, one Craps table, one Roulette table, 31 televisions in the bar and three poker tables in a private area. The casino is located in the Bay Walk mall in the heart of Rodney Bay, the area of the island with the most vibrant nightlife.
The luxury gaming facility in North Bimini, to be called Resorts World Bimini Bay, is set to debut in mid December of this year. The casino located within Bimini Bay Resort will introduce an entirely new concept to the destination and feature popular table games, slots within a modern Caribbean décor, a sleek entertainment bar and a restaurant lounge.
The new strategic partnership between RAV Bahamas and Genting Malaysia will create the only casino in North Bimini and offer residents, resort guests and visitors from South Florida alike a new form of entertainment, world class gaming.
As far as Bermuda's plans go, if casinos are eventually approved on the island, Furbert says he would like for Bermuda to consider following the Singapore model that calls for charging clients a cover fee to enter a casino and also preventing people with gambling problems from wagering.
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