The Dominican Republic is a small but perfectly formed island nation, sharing the island of Hispaniola with neighboring Haiti. As the second largest nation of the Caribbean, it is a tourist hotspot and has developed a night-life to suit such a status.
Oddly, considering the general perception of Caribbean people as laid back and relaxed souls, the main night time thrill offered in the Dominican Republic comes from one of the more debated forms of entertainment; gambling. There are 12 cities containing fully licensed casinos on the island, all of which offer the same kind of glitzy entertainment and high rolling thrills as well as any Las Vegas casino could manage.
The gambling rules of the Dominican Republic casinos are relaxed, with 12 – 14 hours of game play available at most. The games offered by these casinos is standard gambling fare; there are the expected card games, such as poker, blackjack, pontoon and baccarat, to the more erroneous slot machines and less intense forms of gambling.
There is also something of a subculture away from the glitz and gloss of the main casinos, including high stakes cock-fighting, as well as full bingo halls and normal horse racing.
It is, however, mainly the casinos that make up this gambling tourist haven. The casinos in the Dominican Republic are not noticeably different from those that populate the rest of the world. As is standard, there are few reminders of time and a big emphasis on playing hard and winning much. There are dedicated areas for high rollers, and casino trading is done in standard chip form. Essentially, these are casinos that could be anywhere in the world; luckily, they happen to be on one of the most naturally beautiful islands on the face of the planet.
The capital of the Dominican Republic, Santa Domingo, is the hotspot for the casino trade in the region. It is, if you will, the Dominican Republic’s version of Las Vegas – though a little more demure, as one would expect. Santa Domingo has the most casinos, with eight in total within the city limits. This gives an overall total of around 330 gaming machines – such as slots – in the city, along with 110 table games.
Perhaps the gem in the crown of the many casinos of Santa Domingo is the Casino V Centenario. The casino, which also has a hotel and leisure complex attached, sits on the southern side of the island, with stunning views overlooking the Caribbean sea. The casino itself is full of the usual table games and slot machines, as well as running bingo regularly. Luckily, one does not need to be staying at the hotel to be able to use the casino – though discount rates and priority is offered to hotel guests. If you are keen on playing casino games throughout your stay in the Dominican Republic, it may be worth considering staying at the adjacent hotel, where prices are more than reasonable.
Wherever you go, the casinos of the Dominican Republic are an enjoyable way to pass an evening after spending the day enjoying the sun and heat of the beach, and add high levels of fun to any visit to the island.