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In our days’ gambling in Cuba is strictly prohibited by law. But at one time, before the revolution of Fidel Castro, the country was one of the leading casino centres in the world. Local casinos received such great profit that exceeded even the profit of modern Las Vegas. Come to power, Fidel first closed all casinos in Cuba and stopped bringing huge revenues to the US administration. It’s been 52 years ago. Since that time gambling business still remains illegal. Despite this fact, the Cuban gamblers still have something to tickle the nerves.

Cuba And Prohibited Gambling

Cuba another way is called Liberty Island. This country is located to the north of the Caribbean Sea. The population of this island is about 11 million people. And a considerable part of locals likes gambling. Although gambling in Cuba is a significant part of national traditions, casinos are currently on the blacklist. Previously, Cuba was famous for its luxurious gambling halls and casinos. Among the citizens were really popular such entertainments as:

  • cockfighting;
  • horse racing;
  • casinos with poker and other card games.

At that time almost all casinos were owned by either American Mafiosi or Jewish gangsters like Mayer Lansky. For about 30 years, criminal organizations have functioned in the gambling industry of Cuba. In 1959, after the revolution, this situation was changed. Prime Minister Fidel Castro abolished all legal gambling and betting activities. After Castro’s restrictions, Havana, the capital of the island, lost its once outstanding position among world-known casino centres.

Mafiosi times have already passed, but the current gambling laws of Cuba still prohibit all kinds of gambling on the territory of the country. In the 50s of last century, Cuba was one of the leading tourist centres, because the Cuban resort areas offered everything that was forbidden by the laws of the United States. Today we can wait, if not the recurrence to the former glory of Cuba, but a simple casino legalization.

Illegal Casinos And Castigations

Both land-based gambling halls and even online ones are completely banned in Cuba. Officially, anyone who tries to get around this law, in other words, violate the law, faces punishment. Citizens are not allowed for playing even virtual casinos issued their licenses in other countries. As experience shows, Cuba is ambiguous in the regulation of online gambling.

So in contradistinction to terrestrial gaming halls, regard to online gambling everything is clear. Despite the strict prohibitions in every large hotel with tourists working illegal casino. They have the most popular games, which allow the gambling business in Cuba flourished. Clients there can play in:

  • slots;
  • Roulette;
  • popular card games;
  • lottery;
  • make bets to the sports.

Despite a small assortment, gamblers can find themselves what will be to their liking. In addition in the villages rather often cockfights arrange with betting on the outcome. However, if the participants are caught by the police, they will be punished.

What About Cuba Casino In Practice?

Cuba Casino was the glory and pride of country. More precisely, it was until 1959. Now in practice are working some casinos in hotels that offer illegal gambling entertainments. Several times it was assumed that the casino would soon be allowed. This was after the departure of Fidel Castro and after the lifting of the embargo from Cuba in 2015. However, while the casino remains illegal.

Interestingly, the daughter and grandson of Meir Lansky, after the normalization of relations between America and Cuba, asked the US Federal Commission of Abroad Claims to return the property to Cuba that belonged to their grandfather and father. This is the entertainment complexes Marina Hemingway and Havana Riviera. The total value of the disputed assets is more than 70 million dollars.

Poker In Cuba

As well as other forms of gambling, Poker is banned in Cuba. Visitors can find underground Poker rooms and halls, but joining them is seriously dangerous. Until the fifties of the last century, the capital of Cuba was even more popular Poker centre for American players than Las Vegas. In Havana there were many luxury resort centres and Poker rooms. But the revolution erased everything and left only distant memories.

Websites for playing Poker in Cuba are also under the strict ban. Poker lovers who have visited the country should not risk and even enter into their accounts. Unlike other islands, Cuba does not have local providers of online card games. In 2014 people were talking about the legalization of poker in Cuba. However, until now the status of online Poker and Poker as a whole remains unchanged.

Sports Betting And Lottery In Cuba

The Communist Party, ruling the country’s government prohibits any likelihood of sports betting in Cuba. Of course, there are illegal bookmakers in the country, but it is very dangerous to deal with. Online bookmakers are also banned, which is not surprising at all.

In Cuba person can find an underground lottery. This illegal kind of gambling is called bolita. Every day, residents of Cuba bet on the lottery without leaving their homes. Since there is no official local lottery in Cuba, the winning numbers come from abroad. There are also rumours that nearby Hemingway Marina has a private club of illegal gambling, but it is still just a rumour.


There are very few countries which after their start as capitals of the world gambling could make it illegal. By completely banning the conduct of the gaming business on the territory of Cuba (both terrestrial and online), the government transferred it from the taxed sphere to the shade. Worth waiting for that Cubans because of their mores could not abandon gambling. That’s why in the islands are still working illegal gambling halls and casinos which are advantageously arranged in hotels. Although if the players and organizers are caught they get the punishment up to imprisonment.

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