A casino tour of Belize
Sandwiched in between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a former British colony that’s widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are plenty of British and American expats that call Belize home with over 70% of the country’s one million annual visitors coming from the US. And who can blame them – with white sand beaches, untouched coral reefs and exotic marine life aplenty?
The rainy season in Belize gives way each year to sumptuous warm weather, which makes the natural beauty of the landscape too hard to ignore. A fixed exchange rate of 2 Belizean dollars to 1 US dollar makes travelling easy for foreign visitors as well.
Whether you’re living in Belize, planning to move there or simply looking to spend a relaxing vacation in the Central American country, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Gambling is an increasing draw for visitors in Belize with the country’s three land-based casinos augmented by legal online gambling.
If you’re looking for a casino guide to Belize, you’ve come to the right place. Join us on our whistle stop tour of Belize’s top gambling hotspots.
Ramada by Wyndham Princess Hotel & Casino
Location: Belize City
Facilities: Blackjack, American Roulette and Caribbean Stud Poker tables in addition to 400 slot machines
Belize City packs a lot in to a relatively small area. While it’s not exactly a tourist hotspot, this hotel & casino provides welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of the centre of town. Situated in the business sector of Belize City, it’s primarily aimed at foreign business people staying for a short time.
The mid-priced rooms aren’t anything to write home about, but the higher priced rooms come with a stunning view of the Caribbean Sea and all the trappings of luxury accommodation. The hotel is perfectly situated to the water taxis that regularly take tourists and locals out to the beautiful island of Caye Caulker.
Every day there are plenty of passengers travelling in the opposite direction to avail of the casino facilities at this hotel. It’s host to a smattering of table games and 400 slot machines.
However, the American roulette wheel is the shining beacon of this casino. Surely one of the most exciting casino games, roulette can transform you into a millionaire with one spin of the wheel. Let’s face it, if you’re fortunate enough to be a guest at this glorious resort in a beautiful location, you’re a lucky person anyway – and if you want to see how far you can take your good fortune, you may as well have a flutter. Checking out roulette expert Ioannis Kavouras’s guide about the intricacies of the roulette wheel and more about the game itself will stand you in better stead for striking it big and taking home some sizeable winnings.
If you do happy to win big, treat yourself to a stay in the $350-a-night Presidential Suite, which comes with a large living room, kitchenette, balcony view of the Caribbean and a Jacuzzi. Four on-site restaurants will leave you with little need to leave the casino while you’re playing, with attentive waiting staff keeping you hydrated in-between hands or spins.
Golden Princess Casino
Location: Belize City
Facilities: 20 table games, 4 poker tables and 500 gaming and video poker machines
The Golden Princess Casino is situated just 8km from the Mexican airport Chetumal Quintana Roo, so it’s probably the most easily accessible casino for tourists. The venue sits on a plot of 1,500 square feet in the Corozal Free Zone – an area with a unique draw for Mexican citizens.
Housed in an opulent building that lights up the landscape, this casino’s interior design is more functional than flash – with the focus very much on the gaming. The Golden Princess Casino is owned by the international group Princess Casinos that have a number of establishments across North America, Europe and Africa. It’s open 24 hours a day over the weekend and from 12pm to 6am throughout the week with plenty of English and Spanish language events regularly available for patrons to attend.
The Corozal Free Zone is a strip of land between the Mexican and Belizean border that is duty free. As such the area is home to a large number of retail outlets offering superb discounts on everything from TVs to clothes so you can stock up on gifts and essentials in between gambling.
Location: Stann Creek
Facilities: 6 gaming tables and 100 slot machines
This is no doubt one of Belize’s more secluded casinos. To get to this quiet gambling retreat you will have to journey 136km south of the capital Belize City. The Stann Creek region is fast becoming a tourism hotspot for foreign visitors due to the unique blend of high-altitude jungle reserves and sandy white beaches.
Not far from the Placencia is one of the world’s most curious nature reserves, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Hidden among the stunning waterfalls and rugged hills is a growing population of jaguars, one of the world’s most endangered big cats.
Travel west from the sanctuary and you will reach the Guatemalan border town of Melchor de Menos in just two hours. Travel east for much less time and you will find yourself at the quaint Placencia Casino.
This Muy-Ono Resort-owned complex features a series of buildings perched on the waterfront in homage to the Italian city of Venice. Placencia Casino may be small and humble, but it’s certainly not lacking in character. You’ll be greeted with a smile and a warm welcome – and when it comes down to the gaming, you get to choose between blackjack, roulette and 3 card poker. If you’re lucky you might even get to sign up for a poker tournament.
A regular crowd of patrons make a habit of visiting the casino throughout the week and you will be made to feel more than welcome by the locals. Once you have had your fill of gambling you can avail of the many recreational facilities surrounding the casino.
There are Yacht, Gun and Golf Clubs within throwing distance of the casino, as well as a series of top-class restaurants and the relaxed and tranquil Pier Bar Lounge where you can enjoy a victory drink after a big casino win.
With just three recognised land-based casinos, Belize is hardly a gambling destination in the way of places like Las Vegas and Macau. The country’s relatively small size combined with its smattering of quality casinos and stunning vistas makes it a country well worth visiting.
After you’ve completed your casino tour of Belize you might want to put your winnings to good use by visiting some of the following locations:
- The Blue Hole – Lighthouse reef atoll or as it is known locally, ‘the blue hole’ is a stunning turquoise lagoon in the middle of the ocean surrounded by gleaming white sand.
- Ambergis Caye – Situated just off the Yucatan Peninsula this Caye is slightly less ‘touristy’ than Caye Caulker and is a real paradise retreat.
- Lamanai – This archaeological reserve features some perfectly preserved Mayan ruins and a trip here will feel like a journey back in time.