Cayman Islands Flag

Better known as being an offshore tax haven for international businesses, the Cayman Islands are surprisingly strict when it comes to gambling. The result is that there are no casinos on any of the three islands that make up the British Overseas Territory. Queen Elizabeth II may be the head of state, but there is a Legislative Assembly that decides all rules for the islands.

Given the lack of archeological evidence to suggest an indigenous people for the Cayman Islands, it is believed that they were discovered by Christopher Columbus on his final voyage to the Americas in 1503. England took control of the Cayman Islands in 1670. Based over more than one hundred square miles, the islands play host to around seven thousand people.

Cayman Islands & Gambling

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (eric laudonien /

Gambling is banned in its totality in the Cayman Islands, which might surprise many people when you consider that the autonomous territory is known from its somewhat more chilled out attitude to tax. Indeed, the European Union has placed it on a blacklist of foreign tax havens, suggesting that the rules are far more lax here than in other locations.

They might be lax over tax, but the rules over gambling are strict. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the lack of casinos is more to do with space than any specific dislike of it as an activity. After all, it’s not the largest country in the Caribbean and so few people live on it so as to make gambling somewhat pointless there.

It’s also not as if the Cayman Islands is in need of the income that would be brought in by gambling; the country’s total nominal GDP is about $4.571 billion. The islands are Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, with Grand Cayman being the largest of the three. Grand Cayman is also the most populous island, with George Town being the country’s capital.

Gambling is banned in accordance with the 1963 Gambling Act, which says that flouting the law could result in two months in prison or a fine of $10. Things changed slightly in 2015 when an amendment to the Act was passed to allow raffles, as well as gambling on cruise ships that were registered to the Cayman Islands, provided they’re not in Cayman Islands territorial waters.