Simon’s Jamaica Lottery and Gambling Guide

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Picture of Jamaica's capital city, Kingston. Land-based gambling is legal in Jamaica but online gambling is forbidden.

Jamaica Lottery and Gambling Guide

 

Jamaica is an island country located in the Carribean Sea. It is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles. The country lies about 145 kilometers south of Cuba and 191 kilometers west of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Jamaica’s population is around 3 million citizens. Its capital and largest city is Kingston with approximately 950,000 residents.

The island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the late 15th century. Under Spanish rule, the island was known as Santiago. The territory remained a Spanish colony until the British conquered it in 1655 renaming it Jamaica. The country remained under British rule until 1962. Jamaica gained independence by leaving the Federation of the West Indies in 1962. After gaining independence, the country experienced a steady economic growth.

Gambling is legal and regulated in Jamaica since 2012 after the passing of The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act. The act establishes a legal background to gambling and a regulatory body overseeing the gambling operations called Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission.  Therefore, there are numerous land-based casinos operating in the country offering the most popular games like roulette, poker, and blackjack amongst others. Online gambling is regulated by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission too, but Jamaican players are not allowed to play at any online casinos.* However, players from Jamaica are not prosecuted if they decide to play at an offshore online casino.

 

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*The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act of 2012

 

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Casino gambling in Jamaica

 

Online casino gambling in Jamaica: requires licence, Jamaican players are not allowed to play online

 

Gambling became legal in Jamaica after the passing of The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act of 2012. The governing body of gambling is the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission which main responsibilities are the licence issuing and overseeing all gambling operations. There are numerous brick-and-mortar casinos operating in the country where players can enjoy all kinds of casino games (blackjack, roulette, slot machines, poker, etc.). The most gambling establishments are operating in the capital city of Kingston. Online gambling is legal too, but only for tourists as Jamaican players are not allowed to involve themselves in such activities. However, players from Jamaica are not prosecuted for playing in an offshore online casino.

 

 

Bingo in Jamaica

 

Online bingo in Jamaica: requires licence, Jamaican players are not allowed to play online

 

Bingo is quite popular amongst players around the world, especially in the United States. There are land-based bingo halls across Jamaica too where players can enjoy this fantastic game. Online gambling is legal too but only for tourists. Jamaican players, however, are accepted at numerous offshore online casinos to play. Players from Jamaica are not prosecuted and the government does not block foreign gambling sites either.

 

 

Poker in Jamaica

 

Online poker in Jamaica: requires licence, Jamaican players are not allowed to play online

 

Poker is quite possibly the most popular and well-known casino game ever created. The main reasons behind its ever growing popularity are the constant television broadcasts, the regularly held world championships, and of course, its competitive nature. Many players argue that poker requires more skill than luck but in nature, it still counts as a form of gambling as it is mostly played in casinos to this day. Gambling is legal in Jamaica since 2012 so players can enjoy poker at numerous land-based casinos accross the country. Online gambling, however, is forbidden for Jamaican citizens. The good news is that players from Jamaica are not prosecuted if they decide to play at an offshore online casino.

 

Sports betting in Jamaica

 

Online sports betting in Jamaica: requires licence, Jamaican players are not allowed to play online

 

Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling out there. Gambling is legal in Jamaica since 2012. Bookmakers have to acquire proper licenses to operate, though. Online gambling is legal only for tourists in the country but Jamaican citizens are not prosecuted if they decide to try out their luck at an offshore online bookmaker.

 

 

Lottery in Jamaica

 

Online lottery in Jamaica: requires licence, Jamaican players are not allowed to play online

Arguably, the lottery is the most common form of gambling in the world. It is safe to say that where gambling is legal there is a national lottery. It is no different in Jamaica either. As of now, only one company issues lotteries in the country called Supreme Ventures. The company offers a wide variety of games to players like the traditional Lotto, Super Lotto, and Cash Pot amongst others.* Playing online is not allowed for Jamaican citizens, though. However, players from Jamaica are not prosecuted if they decide to play lotteries at an offshore online casino.

 

 

*Supreme Ventures’ Official Website

 

Bitcoin gambling in Jamaica

 

Bitcoin gambling in Jamaica: Jamaican players are not allowed to play online

 

Bitcoin is a digital currency often referred to as a “cryptocurrency” invented in 2008. People argue to this day about who exactly came up with the currency under the Satoshi Nakamoto moniker. Bitcoin gained a lot of popularity since its introduction around the world as an alternative mean of payment. Bitcoin gambling appeared shortly after the introduction of the currency and continues to gain popularity as more and more online casinos started to specialize in it. However, Bitcoin is still a relatively new phenomenon so only just a handful of countries issued laws concerning it. Some countries see Bitcoin as an asset rather than a currency (like Norway of Lithuania for example). Bitcoin trades mostly occur via the internet due to the currency’s digital nature so Bitcoin gambling technically falls into the online gambling genre. Therefore, we can assume that it is illegal for Jamaican citizens. Aside from this, Jamaica does not have any specific laws concerning Bitcoin gambling or Bitcoin in general.

 

 

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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: 2016.02.04.

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Simon's Jamaica Lottery and Gambling Guide
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Simon's Jamaica Lottery and Gambling Guide
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An overview of gambling's legal status in Jamaica.
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