Jamaica’s First Casino Still a Long Way Out

A growing number of Jamaicans could find themselves a new hobby soon, and it’s one that they haven’t been privy to in the past. 

Exciting card players and casino game enthusiasts all over the island, last year Jamaican Observer reported that we can finally expect to get our first licensed casino.

Celebration Jamaica Development Limited applied for the license to open the casino last May. Unfortunately, company founder Robert Trottatime said it’s estimated that construction on the project likely won’t be finished for three years. Thankfully, however, there are other ways that we can occupy our time until then. Take a look at a few ways you can scratch that casino itch until opening day arrives.

Cards laying around with poker chips on top.Casino Movies


There are plenty of movies with casino premises that can get your riled up for your time at the tables, with several being released in the last few years. Casino Royale and The Gambler are both good options for those looking for a more classic casino film, while Remains and Poker Night can be used to satisfy your need for something scarier.

Don’t discount the old-school versions of casino films also. Try the original Casino Royale from 1967, starring Peter Sellers as Agent 007, or the 1960 version of Ocean’s 11 (though the 2001 remake is quite great, too). As for other ideas, IMDB’s comprehensive list of these movies is a great resource.

Online Poker

Today, the lack of physical locations has more Jamaicans trying their luck at online poker in the comforts of their own home. Not only is it great if you need a convenient, low-distraction way to play, but it’s also a way to play more games for less. Online Poker Lowdown writes that many online casinos offer substantial sign up and reload bonuses, so you can play with a lot more money than you actually put forward.

Some also find that it’s more comfortable to learn how to play online, rather than trying to do so from dealers in a noisy casino. Betfair’s poker site allows users to learn several different kinds of games, all from the same source. Using their site, players can gain knowledge of everything from five- and seven-card stud, to speed poker and sit and go tournaments. This allows users to perfect their skills and bide their time until the physical casino opens.

Host Poker Night

If you want to play with other poker fans, a low-key night playing cards with your friends can be just what you need to get in the casino mood. All you have to do is grab some beer and a few classic party snacks before dealing the cards.


If you want to take it up a notch, you could host a big blow out party. Find casino-inspired decorations and give guests the option to play multiple games, including black jack, roulette, and even craps. If you don’t already own the speciality tables (who does?), you can usually rent them from local party supply stores. Play for fun, or give the person with the most chips at the end of the night a prize of your choosing.

Jamaicans may have to wait a few years for a physical casino to open up, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to have fun in the meantime. Brush up on your skills, watch some casino movies, or host a poker night, and the time will fly by.

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