Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Dominica

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This is a picture of a creole woman playing the Triple Diamond slot machin in the Ma Pau Entertainment Centre, a casino located in Dominica.

Gambling and online gambling in Dominica

 

Most forms of gambling are illegal in Dominica. This might be surprising, as the Commonwealth of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is situated in the Caribbean Sea, which is one of the largest gambling centres in the world. Previously a British colony, Dominica gained independence in 1978.

The law regulating minor offences including gambling, called the Small Charges Act, actually predates the country’s independence, as it has been in effect since 1891. Since then the law has been amended several times. Gambling, specifically, has been regulated since 1964.

In accordance with this law, it is illegal to “receive any other person in any house or place for the purpose of gambling”*. Punishment ranges up to 3 months of imprisonment. Those found gambling must cease and leave at the first warning, or they too may be prosecuted. Those found gambling in streets, roads or such public places have no warning before they are deemed “vagabonds” and punished. The law, however, does not apply to lotteries, pari-mutuel betting and charitable events approved by the Ministry of Finance.

Online gambling is not specifically regulated by the Small Charges Act. Dominica does grant online gambling licences to International Business Companies, the condition of which is not allowing access to Dominican players. This likely signifies that the ban on gambling extends to online play as well. Dominican gambling licensees are generally weakly supervised and thus often unreliable.

 

*Source: Laws of Dominica – Small Charges Act

 

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Casino gambling in the Dominica

 

Online casino gambling in the Dominica: unregulated

 

Casino gambling is illegal in Dominica. Contrary to many countries in the area, Dominicans have long felt the need to have tourists (on whom Dominica’s economy relies) focus on the beauty of the island and the neighboring waters instead of gambling.

In spite of the prohibition on gambling there actually is an “entertainment centre” on the island. The Ma Pau Dominica Entertainment Centre hosts several slot machines. As Prime Minister Roosevelt Skrellit stated: “There is no casino gambling in Dominica, they are slot machines”.* There is no word on what the exact distinction is.

Online casino gambling is not specifically regulated by Dominican laws, but is generally considered illegal. Though the country issues online gambling licences, licensed sites may not allow locals to play. Residents of Dominica are, however, free to play on offshore online casino gambling sites, as there have been no reports of prosecution for online gambling.

 

*Source: Gaming company to open shop; government insists it’s not casino gambling (Dominica News Online)

 

Bingo in the Dominica

 

Online bingo in the Dominica: unregulated

 

The legal status of bingo in Dominica may be somewhat confusing. As a game of chance, it could be banned under the Small Charges Act of 2012. However, the law makes an exception for gambling events with a charitable aim, if authorised by the Ministry of Finance.

Lottery games are also legal in Dominica, though it is a monopoly of the national lottery, which does not offer bingo. There is, however a game called tic-tac-toe available, which could be seen as a simplified form of bingo.

The Ma Pau Entertainment Centre offers regular bingo nights. However, they have no online play available. There are no other online bingo operators legally available in Dominica, which means locals can only turn to foreign bingo sites. It is also unclear whether this is completely legal, but players are not prosecuted.

 

 

Poker in the Dominica

 

Online poker in the Dominica: unregulated

 

Poker is illegal in Dominica, although it is often considered a game of skill, not a game of luck, which means it is questionable whether it can be considered gambling as in game of chance. Nevertheless, there are no poker halls in Dominica, nor other forms of legally available poker games. It should be noted that home games among friends are also technically illegal.

Online poker is not specifically regulated, but is still generally considered illegal. Though there are gambling sites licensed in Dominica, they must block local players. Residents of Dominica can play on many international online poker sites, and there have been no reports of players prosecuted for online gambling.

 

 

Sports betting in the Dominica

 

Online sports betting in the Dominica: unregulated

 

Interestingly, sports betting is legal in Dominica, but there are no sports betting companies offering their services in the country. The Small Charges Act states that pari mutuel or pool betting are exempt from the law if the event is approved by the Minister. There have been no such events recently, which means no legal sports betting opportunities in Dominica.

Online sports betting is not specifically regulated, but there are no online sports betting companies based in the country that are also available to locals. (Sites licensed in the country may not allow access to Dominican players.) Many foreign online betting sites are available in Dominica.

 

 

Lottery in the Dominica

 

Online lottery in the Dominica: state monopoly, no online play available

 

Lottery games are legal in Dominica. The country has its own national lottery, the DNL. Games on offer include the previously mentioned tic-tac-toe, scratch cards and numeric games. Lottery draws are televised, but tickets can only be bought at physical retailers, online play is not available.

Lottery is a state monopoly in Dominica, which means there are no other licensed online lottery operators either. Locals may participate in international lottery draws available to them.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in the Dominica

 

Bitcoin gambling in the Dominica: unregulated

 

Bitcoin is legal in Dominica, and there was actually an initiative to turn the country into the world’s first “Bitcoin Nation”, distributing free Bitcoin. However, the event was later cancelled.

Bitcoin gambling is not regulated by Dominican laws. With the general stance against gambling in the country, Bitcoin gambling might be considered illegal, but the government has taken no steps to stop locals from accessing Bitcoin casinos.

 

 

Online gambling websites accepting players from the Dominica

Even though most forms of online gambling are not regulated in Dominica, there are still many online gambling websites, which still accept players from the country in the interim.

The following online casinos and bookmakers accept players from Dominica.

 

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BGO casino – accepting players from Dominica

Euro online casino

Casino Euro – accepting players from Dominica

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32 Red casino accepting players from Dominica

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32 Red online bookmaker, sports betting website – accepting players from Dominica

 

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2015. 11. 03.

Summary
Simon's Guide to Online Gambling in Dominica
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Online Gambling in Dominica
Description
This guide focuses on the legal status of various forms of online gambling in Dominica, namely, online bingo, online poker, online casino gambling, online sports betting, online lottery and gambling online using virtual currencies (e.g.: Bitcoin).
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