The most massive territory in the Central American isthmus is Nicaragua, and its capital — Managua — is the third largest city in Central America. Although the country is widely known for its emotional territory of beaches, lakes, volcanoes and shorelines, its casino and gambling industry can easily be considered as a tourist attraction. Brace yourself as we dive into the gambling industry of Nicaragua.
History of Casinos in Nicaragua
Nicaragua was founded by Hernandez de Cordoba in 1524 alongside Leon east of Lake Managua and Granada. In 1821, Nicaragua gained full independence from Spain — but became an independent republic in 1838, after gaining independence from the Central American Federation.
Right from Nicaragua’s independence till 1855, the Conservative elite of Granada and the Liberal elite of Leon rivalled and kept the country in utmost political and civil chaos. In 1855, Nicaragua fought the Conservatives with the help of William Walker. The history of Nicaragua is marked by chaos and political struggles — but the most noticeable footprint of Nicaraguan history was when the Sandinistas were voted out in 1990.
Before the time, gambling in Nicaragua was nothing to write home about. Actually, gambling activities and facilities were patronised but did not have an impactful footmark in Nicaragua until the Sandinistas forceful outlawed all forms of gambling in 1979. It was not until 2001 when the first law concerning the legalization of gambling was introduced and passed by the José Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo administration. At the time, the Ministry of Tourism operated and supervised the gambling industry.
The law made land-based casinos quite popular in Nicaragua. In 2011, however, the law was revised by the then-present Nicaraguan government. Additionally, the law was passed through another phase of revision in 2014 and operational duties were entirely passed to the Ministry of Finance. This Nicaraguan gaming act is still in use until this day.
As mentioned earlier, casinos are very popular in Nicaragua. Also, tourists and visitors do enjoy the great gambling atmosphere in Nicaragua — basically because the casinos are attached to exclusive and explicit hotels.
Current Gambling Climate
Gambling and most of its activities and facilities are fully legal, licensed and regulated in Nicaragua. On the same note, there is a total number of 25 casinos completely legal and operational throughout the length and breadth of Nicaragua.
As discussed earlier, gambling and casinos are very popular in the country. The atmosphere is outright inviting for natives, residents and tourists to engage in one or more forms of gambling. For one, smoking and other recreational activities are allowed in all areas of most casinos. Finally, the average Nicaraguan is friendly to exotic people, so getting around the country is highly likely to be a piece of cake.
Casinos in Nicaragua by Area
There is a total number of 25 gambling facilities in Nicaragua. Almost half of the whole casinos in Nicaragua is located in Managua, which is the capital. Masaya and San Juan del Sur are the two other cities where more than one casinos are located.
Managua offers more than 1000 gaming machines and 100 table games. Further, the largest casino in Nicaragua is Casino Princess Managua. The casino, located in Managua, has 250 gaming machines and eight table games. The second largest is Pharaohs Casino – Central, which offers more than 166 gaming machines and table games.
Types of Casinos in Nicaragua
In Nicaragua, casinos and other gambling facilities come in different varieties. Traditional casinos are apparently the most popular type of facilities. Also, one should note that the majority (if not all) of the casinos in Nicaragua include hotels or nightclubs.
Essentially, most casinos offer a variety of slot machines, table games, video poker machines, Texas Hold’em Poker, blackjack, American roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, 77 live gaming positions, and many more.
Nicaragua, unfortunately, does not have a racetrack, racino, dog track, or cruise ship — which are necessities these days. In contrast, some casinos feature Sports Book rooms. These rooms are typically filled with flat-screen televisions for players to view sporting events.
List of Casinos in Nicaragua
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of Nicaragua.
Atlantic City Casino – Esteli
Atlantic City Casino – San Juan del Sur
Barceló Montelimar Beach Hotel Casino
Bet CR Masaya
Casino Princess Managua
La Perla Hotel and Casino
Managua Princess Casino
Oasis Hotel and Casino
Pharaohs Casino – Camino Real
Pharaohs Casino – Central
Pharaohs Casino – Holiday Inn
Pharaohs Casino – Managua
Zona Pharaohs – Avenida Bolivar
Zona Pharaohs – Chinandega
Zona Pharaohs – Managua
Zona Pharaohs – Multicentro
Facts About Casinos in Nicaragua
– According to the law, the minimum age to gamble in Nicaragua is 18 years.
– The largest casino in Nicaragua, Casino Princess Managua, has 16,000 square feet of space.
– Online gambling is illegal in Nicaragua, but players are not prosecuted for participating in any form of online gambling including online casino, online sports betting, online poker, and online lottery draws.
– In Nicaragua, there is no way for online gambling operators to regulate their activities. However, the Nicaraguan National Lottery has an online version — which is fully licensed and regulated.
– The online lottery provision of the Nicaraguan National Lottery is operated by the Canadian Commercial Corporation.
– A good percentage of the profits made by the Nicaraguan National Lottery goes to charity.
– The first law was passed in 2001. It was revised in 2011, and then again in 2014.
– The Casino Control Council, a subdivision of the Ministry of Finance, licenses and regulates gambling activities and facilities in Nicaragua.
– The gambling industry was moved from the Ministry of Tourism to the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Analysis Unit in 2014.
– The gaming act was revised in 2011 and again in 2014 due to the rise in the number of illegal slot parlours and machines in the country.
– In 2001, the gaming act required casinos and gambling facilities to be located in hotels or nightclubs. In 2014, the act was made more lenient by allowing facilities to be located in anywhere at all.
– As of 2011, Nicaragua annually generates $1.7 million in gambling taxes. In 2011, the government revised the casino act to increase the tax to $4.6 million a year.