There is a long history of gambling in the Caribbean islands of The Bahamas. But it wasn't until very recently that proper betting legislation was passed to regulate gaming, including racetracks and sportsbooks. The Bahamas now has legalized gambling across the country. It also boasts some of the world's biggest and best casino resorts.
Let's look a little closer at the history of gaming, casino gambling and sports betting locations in The Bahamas, and predict what the online gambling future may bring.
Current Gambling Laws in The Bahamas
Illegal gambling was a feature of life in The Bahamas for decades. Lotteries were banned in 1901 but illegal casinos began to flourish in the 1920s. In 1969, the Lotteries and Gaming Act was introduced to regulate casino gambling on the islands.
Some online gambling on the islands was made legal under the Gaming Act of 2014. The new law provided a framework for licensed casinos, national and charitable lotteries, and taxation. A new gaming board was set up at the same time.
All gambling is overseen by the Gaming Board for The Bahamas. The board is responsible for issuing casino licenses and overseeing standards.
The Bahamas allows legalized and licensed casino resorts to operate on the islands. A state lottery is also legal, as is electronic bingo, keno, scratch tickets, and pull-tabs. Sports betting parlors are also popular in the country.
Legal age for gambling in The Bahamas: 18
Online Gambling in the Bahamas
The 2014 Gaming Act was set up to reflect the growing popularity of online gambling in The Bahamas. Under the new law, some internet betting was permitted. However, online sports betting is currently illegal in The Bahamas.
Bahamian casinos can now apply for gaming licences that permit some in-house internet gaming. “Restrictive interactive gaming licences” can also be obtained. These allow players to bet online or on mobile within the casino property. However, online gaming from websites managed in The Bahamas is not allowed.
“Web shops” (betting kiosks) have been set up on the islands which let locals place bets on overseas lotteries.
Sportsbooks, Casinos & Racetracks in the Bahamas
The Bahamas has been a major destination for gamblers over the years. Attracted to the sun, sea and marinas, the islands have some of the swankiest gaming resorts in the world. Roulette, poker, slots, blackjack and more – come play!
Atlantis Casino & Sportsbook
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino is perhaps the Bahamas' best hotel-resort. It also has one of the best casinos in the world, Atlantis Casino. The casino spans a lagoon and features over 85 gaming tables. Featured are table games like baccarat, roulette, and over 700 slot machines. There is also a race and sportsbook, and a poker room that recently held the annual PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
The Atlantis Casino and Sportsbook offer some bonuses to its new players – up to $500 Free Slot Play. No promo code is needed. Check the openning hours for sports betting (minimum bet is $10):
Sunday-Wednesday 10am – 11pm
Thursday-Saturday 10am – 12am
Baha Mar Hotel & Casino
Baha Mar is a world-class casino resort that has hosted major poker tournaments in recent years. It's currently the biggest casino in the Bahamas and features over 1,100 slot machines and 120 table games.
Island Luck in Nassau features a small selection of table games and slot machines. It also permits lottery ticket sales on the gaming floor.
Resorts World Bimini
Resorts World Bimini Resort-Casino is the Caribbean arm of a casino giant that operates properties in Asia, the US, and Europe. Overlooking the Mega Yacht Marina, the casino allows visitors to sail to the front doors and disembark. The 10,000-square-foot gaming floor contains over 160 slots plus table games like blackjack and craps. The casino has some great promotions and bonus offers (no code is needed).
Grand Lucayan Resort
The all-inclusive Grand Lacayan on Grand Bahama Island mixes 5-star hotel luxury with top-end gambling. The resort has a casino, the Treasure Bay, which has 400 slot machines and over 30 table games. Check their promo offers and if you need a special bonus code in 2020 to activate them on their official website.
New Gaming Legislation in 2020
In 2019, the biggest challenge facing gambling and sports betting in The Bahamas was Hurricane Dorian. The Caribbean islands were badly hit and stopped tourists visiting the big casinos.
But The Bahamas still has some of the world's best casino resorts in one of the world's most beautiful tropical settings. The Gaming Act of 2014 looks set to stay in place for now as it reaches its 5th birthday.