The Casino scene in North Cyprus has been hitting seriously dizzy heights over the last few years, and a mix of holiday makers and big spending gamblers from Turkey, the south of the island and the Middle East make the industry one of the highest profit earners on the island. Come to North Cyprus for any of the major public holidays and you will see what we mean!
Gambling is not legal in many countries and therefore people are prepared to travel to North Cyprus to satisfy their wish to hit the jackpot, as it were! A law dating back to 1975 actually allows for licensed betting and casino premises to open on the island, but only in the 1990s did the trend for gambling really become popular and since then more and more casinos have been built to accommodate this now popular pastime. Besides casinos there are a number of specialist high street betting shops these days as well, where horse and dog race betting is popular and of course having the odd flutter on football games too!
There are a fantastic array of gambling options with table games like American and French roulette, Las Vegas craps and Black Jack. Poker, chemin-de-fer, punto banco, baccarat and keno are also played, and some casinos are allowed to offer games such as chug-a-lug, wheel of fortune, rummy and backgammon on which participants can bet. Even if you have never played any of these games you can watch others play so that you can understand the rules and then have a little flutter yourselves, although if you are not that adventurous some even have bingo!
While serious gamblers have been adding significantly to the economy of Northern Cyprus and the fortunes of some of the most successful casino operators, even expatriates living in North Cyprus enjoy a few rounds at the casino on occassion! One of the main attractions for those with just a few pounds in their pocket is that the whole occasion is one of excitement, you can enjoy others’ successes and losses at the casino without having to get too financially involved – oh and free alcoholic drinks and food are often on offer too, and a relaxed dress code is permissible!
Many of the casinos have the highest technologies available in gaming and are more often than not run by large gaming companies which have locations and operations all over the world. They are also generally located within and are affiliated to hotels, making the experience a complete package for many of the visiting gamblers as they can spend time in the casino whilst their wives and partners can have a pampering holiday break with spa treatments, shopping and can also dine at one of the many restaurants and bars within the hotel premises or just laze by the pool or beach club for example.
Despite the fact that some within the North Cypriot community frown upon the fact that Northern Cyprus casinos even exist, believing that they should be banned on moral and religious grounds, others wholeheartedly embrace the fact that casinos are available for their gambling pleasure up to 24 hours a day! Whichever side of the fence you’re on one thing’s for sure, the casinos in North Cyprus are so successful that more are being built annually and drawing increasing numbers of weekend visitors who are boosting the economic fortunes of the island. It’s worth noting in this article that presently Turkish Cypriots are the only ones NOT permitted to gamble! This could however be due to change in the near future.
Please check our articles on selected casinos in Lefkoşa and Famagusta, as well as Kyrenia which we hope gives you plenty of choice.