For Your Eyes Only


With thoughts now dominated for the next couple of weeks by G2E, we thought you might want to cast your minds back to a time when casino gaming was an entirely land-based pursuit, the autumn gaming show in Las Vegas was very much focused on the ‘Americas’, and everybody wanted to land clients who had casinos in the Caribbean! Jamaica, for example…

Jamaica means different things to different people, be that white beaches with clear blue waters, untouched nature, paradise on earth or a cultural backdrop that in many ways, is second to none. Noel Coward made his home here, Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond novels here, at GoldenEye, and the list of musical titans who have called Jamaica their home is almost endless. A list at the very head of which sits Bob Marley, of course.

Casino and gaming flourish in Jamaica

Jamaica also offers the visitor an excellent choice in casino and gaming entertainment. The resorts of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios have half a dozen casinos between them, with more options in Negril, Falmouth and the capital, Kingston.

The Treasure Hunt, which is situated in Ocho Rios, is said to be the liveliest and most energetic casino in Jamaica, with a total of 120 slot machines. In Jamaican casinos, table games are not especially common, but most of the casinos will have a large number of slot machines and they are often open 24 hours a day.

Besides casinos, betting on horse racing is also very popular in Jamaica. However, there is only one racetrack in the country, Caymanas Park in St. Catherine, where betting is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. But the Jamaicans love all sports, especially cricket and football (soccer), and all of the major gaming facilities have big screens that show live sport from around the world.

Jamaica’s most popular casinos

So, apart from the crazy liveliness of the Treasure Hunt in Ocho Rios, where else might we go if we want to combine business with pleasure, and check out the casinos of Jamaica?

Very briefly, Mosino, in Montego Bay, is rated by several tourist guides as Jamaica’s No.1 casino. Club Jamaica Gaming Lounge in Runaway Bay spreads over 7,000sqft and combines world-class gaming with exquisite dining and amazing entertainment. And the Kingston casinos are probably the largest of all on the island.

The Acropolis Gaming Lounge offers over 150 slot machines, plus blackjack, baccarat and complimentary food and drinks. The Monte Carlo Gaming Lounge at the Terra Nova Hotel also offers 150+ gaming machines, but is open to hotel guests only, as is the Jamaica Pegasus, one of the most popular casinos in Jamaica.

The game to play is Caribbean Stud

Despite a scarcity of table games in Jamaica, Caribbean Stud Poker is common and popular, due to its origination in the fellow Caribbean island of Aruba. The game shares most of the same rules as regular poker, with the main difference being that players do not play against one another, but against the dealer only. The other difference is that the dealer also shows the players one of his/her cards, by dealing it face up, before players make bets.

Opportunities worth seeking out

The main message to take away from this very quick ‘rough guide’ is that the people of Jamaica are very friendly, welcoming you to their island, their country, to enjoy their culture, their hospitality and their cuisine, such as the famous Jamaican specialties of rum and rum cakes. Jamaica is a beautiful country, an amazing country, and what better place to go to explore the opportunities within its casinos?