The island sovereign state of Antigua and Barbuda lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It is actually two main islands as well as a number of smaller ones, which includes Long Island, Great Bird Island and York Island. The permanent population sits at around 95,000 and about 97% of the residents living on Antigua.
Obviously the split nature of the state means that it’s slightly tricky to talk about its association with gambling, though in truth the casinos are pretty exclusively situated on Antigua because that’s where most people are. The important point is that gambling is legal and there are four cities that have the facilities to have a flutter.
Antigua and Barbuda Casino List
Whilst gambling is legal in Antigua and Barbuda and there are casinos for punters to head to, the reality is that these islands are like paradise. The result is that most people who head there are far keener to head to the beach than the roulette wheel, so casinos haven’t taken over in the same way as they have on other islands.
At the time of writing, Antigua and Barbuda boast six casinos across the four cities that have room for them. Here’s a look at them each in turn, in order to allow you to figure out which you you’ll most want to head to.
In real terms, King’s Casino is the biggest and best casino in Antigua and Barbuda. Based at Heritage Quay in St John’s, which is the island of Antigua’s capital city, the venue boasts more than three hundred and fifty slot machines, with minimum stakes ranging from 1 cent to €1. They include electronic keno and video poker offerings.
If you’re not all that bothered about slot machines it might still be worth checking out ‘Colossus’, which is billed as the world’s largest slot machine at over fifteen foot tall. It also has a top prize of $50,000, so it’s not just the physical size of the machine that’s big. Away from the slots in general there are a number of table games you can play.
The likes of roulette, blackjack, Spanish 21 and, appropriately enough, Caribbean Stud are all on offer. Head along on a Thursday and you’ll even be able to get involved with a traditional game of bingo, complete with extra game jackpots and progressives. The Lounge Bar is where to head for a drink and some live entertainment at the weekend.
Asot’s Arcade Jackpot Casino Slots Venue & Hotspot
Also in St John’s is a significantly less appealing casino if you’re the sort of person that loves table games and isn’t all that interested in slots. Asot’s Arcade specialises in electronic games, offering more than one hundred of them. That includes electronic versions of table games like keno and roulette, plus all of the usual video poker and slot offerings.
Typically open from 9am until 1am every day, there is parking close to the venue and many of the machines ask for a minimum stake of 1 cent. Whilst there’s nothing much on site apart from the slot machines and minimal amenities, there are hotels and bars aplenty located nearby, so you can always pop out for a proper bite to eat or a drink if you fancy.
Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort
If you’re looking to combine your trip to a casino with a visit to one of the island’s glorious golden beaches then the Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort might just be for you. Located at Deep Bay close to St. John’s Harbour’s entrance, the Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort is based on half a mile of golden sands.
Boasting around two hundred and sixty rooms as well as a dozen one-bedroom cottages, the hotel is a one-stop shop for luxury. That includes three restaurants, six bars and, of course, a casino. You can find it just next to the hotel’s reception, with your options stretching from video poker to an electronic horse race game and slot machines.
St James Club
Given the fact that St James Club was named the best hotel in the Caribbean for four years in a row, it’s entirely fair to suggest that the venue is somewhere that is somewhat exclusive in nature. They have recently refurbished their casino too, so it is now even more worthy of your visit than before. With a nightclub nearby, you can party the night away if you win.
The accommodation on site ranges from beachfront rooms to suites and even two-bedroom villas. The guests therefore expect a high level of pleasure and they’re not often disappointed. There are about one hundred and fifty video slot machines and poker terminals, which will keep the casual gamer happy even if it disappoints the die-hards.
Located in the centre of downtown St John’s, there’s an extent to which Paradise Casino is aimed at the visiting cruise ships. That’s because it’s to be found in a part of the city where there’s not a huge amount of foot traffic otherwise, so those coming into port that fancy a taste of Caribbean gambling will almost certainly be told about it.
It is partnered with King’s Casino, so it’s fair to say that it offers less than its bigger brother. There are lines of slot machines complimented by a number of table games that are staffed by polite and friendly dealers. On them you can get involved in some stud poker, blackjack and other card-based favourites that you’ll no doubt have played elsewhere.
The legality of gambling on the islands means that it’s a popular place for developers to consider opening new venues. At the time of writing there are at least two companies with plans to do exactly that, so here’s a quick look at them.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Antigua
Hard Rock is a company that has gone big on the casino front in recent years, with its venue in Las Vegas challenging some of the better established ones in terms of attracting customers. It’s hardly a surprise, therefore, that there are a number of Hard Rocks around the Caribbean. The one in Antigua is being built by Yida Zhang, a Chinese investment company.
It is being built in stages and completion is expected in 2025, so don’t be shocked if you turn up before then and aren’t able to play roulette or your other favourite table game. The development is likely to be the most expensive such one in the entire Caribbean, so it seemed right to include it on this list even if it’s not yet ready for your custom.
Ayre Resort & Casino
Opening in 2021 is the Ayre Resort & Casino, which is a $100 million development that is coming into being thanks to profits made from the appreciation of Bitcoin Cash. That unique twist to the funding is only part of the story, given that the hotel will offer eighty studio suites, thirty one-bedroom suites, eight townhouses, eight condos and three villas.
Obviously the thing that we’re the most interested in is the Bodog Casino Club that is also being built on site. It will offer table games as well as slot machines, so it won’t just be a passing thought in the sense of what’s on offer. From what we understand at this stage it will also be open twenty-four hours a day for your betting needs.