In 2015, 1.3 million visitors were recorded entering Belize. The majority of these were cruise passengers, and nearly 350,000 were overnight visitors. The nation continues to hit these kinds of numbers each year, and should arguably gear its tourism industry to catering for the short stayers.
A casino visit or a poker tournament can be an excellent way to spend a solitary night in a place, which is why there are a number of esteemed poker rooms in the country. Here we take a look at the standout options to choose from in Belize and discuss their main features. A lot of these options are also high class hotels which are ideal for longer stays. With this kind of quality on offer, there is a good chance that the Central American country can increase its number of gambling visitors each year.
The Palace Casino can be found on the corner of Pescador Drive and Caribena Street in San Pedro, on the beautiful Belize island of Ambergris Caye. It’s the only casino on the idyllic piece of land, featuring a rather humble selection of 30 gaming machines and four table games. Players can enjoy blackjack, slot machines, video poker, and electronic keno.
The casino opens at 7 pm six nights a week, and has become one of the most popular nightlife spots for people to enjoy after a hard day’s sunbathing. The gambling house is renowned for its friendly vibe with manager Harry seen floating around, dealing a hand here, serving a drink there, and always telling a story or two.
When you step into the joint you can exchange your US or Belizean dollars for a bucket of the casino’s very own brand of tokens. These can then be used in the slots or at the blackjack tables. While the casino doesn’t feature traditional poker games like Texas Hold’em and 7 Card Stud, their video poker machines will appeal to players of the popular card game. They are similar to slot machines, but players have the option to hold certain cards to try to make a winning hand, in a manner similar to classic poker gameplay. If you’re staying on Ambergris Caye, the Palace is the perfect spot for a great night out. It could also be a great reason to pay a visit to the island.
Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel
In Newtown Barracks Kings Park in the bustling Belize City, you’ll find the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel. It’s a stunning upmarket building overlooking the Belize River located conveniently close to the Great Blue Hole, Altun Ha, and Bliss Institute. The hotel is in a prime spot to enjoy all the attractions Belize has to offer, such as the Mayan ruins, beaches, mountains, caves, and waterfalls. It’s also only 10 miles from the international airport, making it a hugely popular destination for travellers who want to maximise their holiday time.
The hotel has a number of enticing amenities including cinemas, an Olympic size swimming pool, a gym, and a business centre, but gamblers will be most intrigued about the in-house casino. The casino which is on your right as soon as you walk in through the lobby is small, but has a warm and homely feeling. There are three table games: American roulette, blackjack, and a lesser known variety of poker – Caribbean stud poker. The game is similar to five-card stud poker, but instead of facing off against other players, the player is pitted against the house in a similar situation to when playing blackjack. Along with these table games, there are over 300 machines for guests of the hotel to enjoy.
The highlight here is the recently introduced two-day poker tournament dubbed Texas Hold’em, which is played every March. This is sure to attract increasing amounts of visitors each year who want to try their hand at winning the game. Virtually anyone can get into poker, and the fact that ex-footballers like Wayne Bridge have found success with the cards is testament to that. If you’re looking to prepare for the tournament, playing poker online can help you improve your skills and learn new strategies.
The Placencia Casino Poker Room
Placencia is well-known for its stunning beaches and holiday resorts, but now visitors have another reason to visit the prime destination in southern Belize. This is the Plancencia Casino and Sports Bar at the Placencia Hotel, which aims to offer the ultimate entertainment experience. There are no problems getting to this place, as there is a complimentary shuttle bus available to pick up casino visitors from anywhere on the peninsular. At the casino, there are numerous table games on offer including blackjack, roulette, and 3 card poker.
For poker fans, this is an excellent location to get a regular game against like-minded individuals. Every month, the casino’s poker room features an intense tournament, while there are regular cash games in the meantime. This is one stylish location, and there is something for everyone here. Even those who don’t fancy a gamble will have a good time, enjoying the buzzing atmosphere and live sports on offer.
Princess Hotel and Casino Free Zone
The Princess Hotel and Casino is located in the free zone between the borders of Belize and Mexico, and is only 8km away from the Chetumal Quintana Roo Airport. The 1500 square metre hotel features one of the biggest casinos on this list. For those who are searching for a place with a lot of variety, this is ideal.
At the sprawling site there are four roulette tables, five blackjack tables, and 350 slot machines to choose from, developed by renowned companies like IGT. Along with all this, poker fans can take part in regular card games at one of the four poker tables. For an out and out gambling experience, this is the place to go.
It is clear that poker and casino lovers have a wealth of great options when they visit Belize. And with the number of worldwide poker players on the rise each year, more players will be in search of poker games in great locations. This in turn will help boost the tourism figures in Belize.