Based over an area of twenty and a half square miles, the Collectivité de Saint-Martin is the top half of an island split into two. The half belongs to the French Republic, the other belonging to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The division can be dated back to 1648. The French half of the island, makes up the northern sixty percent of it, yet both sides have roughly the same population figures.
Interestingly, despite gambling being popular on the Dutch side of the island, it is not something that takes place in St Martin. The main difference between the two areas being that St Martin is a part of France in legal terms, meaning that French law applies. St Maarten, on the other hand, is autonomous from the Netherlands and makes its own laws.
- Hint: For nearby casinos head to the Dutch side of the island: Sint Maarten
Why St Martin Has No Casinos
The confusing thing when talking about St Martin and casinos is the fact that the overall island is called Saint Martin, whilst the French side is officially the Collectivité de Saint-Martin but is known simply as Saint Martin. There are casinos on the overall island of Saint Martin, but they are all located in the Dutch half of St Maarten and none exist on the French side.
The interesting thing is that it’s not exactly clear why the French side doesn’t have any casinos. Gambling is not illegal in France and there are brick and mortar casinos on the French mainland. There are also casinos on other Caribbean islands that are part of France, such as Martinique. That’s why some expect to find casinos in St Martin.
Instead, there is no gambling of any sort on the French side of the island and an overabundance of land-based casinos in St Maarten. Whether that will change in the future is something that remains to be seen, but it’s certainly fair to that the French side is considered to be less developed in general than the Dutch side.