A Quick Holiday Guide to the Casinos on St Maarten (St Martin)
OK, OK. We are holding the white flag up. Now the weather in the Northern Hemisphere is getting really grim (it’s wet, wet, wet here with frequent damp spells). So our thoughts are turning once again to where we can go to escape this weather on a casino, sun and sand holiday. And we have ruled out Blackpool in the north-west of England, in case you were wondering. We like Blackpool, don’t get us wrong, it’s just at this time of year the weather can be…..how shall we say…similar to here.
This week, we are going to take a look at the island of Saint Martin (Sint Maarten in Dutch), which is an island in the northeast Caribbean, around 300 km east of Puerto Rico. The 90 km² island is split roughly 60/40 between France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands; however, the Dutch side has the larger population and most of the casinos.
This makes it quite an interesting choice, in our opinion. Lot’s of variety despite it’s small size!
If you like your food, duty free shopping, nightlife, gorgeous beaches, year-round warm climate and a friendly mixed atmosphere with a Caribbean flavour, Sint Maarten or Saint Martin could be worth a visit. We’re certainly thinking about it.
There’s nowhere else we can think of that has 3 different cultures on one 37 square mile island: Dutch on one side, French on the other, all mixed in with a Carribean blend.
Most of the nightlife is at the big resorts, with night clubs, restaurants, and late-night shopping. You’ll often find yourself at a beachside barbeques, with plenty of dancing to steel drum bands. For the best Caribbean music head to the live-music clubs, such as News Music Cafe, Greenhouse, Indiana Beach, Amnesia, and Cheri’s Cafe.
And if you want to have a flutter, you’ll need to head to St Maartens (ie the Dutch Dutch side). The gaming is Monaco style and open to everyone from high-rollers to novices.
The largest casino on the island is Casino Royale, at the Maho Beach Hotel. Table limits go from US$5 to $2,000 for blackjack and from $5 to $500 for craps. Then there is the Atlantis Casino at Cupecoy Beach with its underwater city theme. There’s a private gaming room for high-stakes baccarat, French, chemin de fer, and 7-card stud poker.
Head for Front Street Philipsburg for 2 more casinos: Rouge et Noir and the Coliseum Casino. The design of Rouge et Noir is more Las Vegas than Monaco- thi sis the place for slots, video keno and video poker. The Coliseum has 3 floors of gaming, themed on ancient Rome. There are slot machines on the main level, and poker machines are on the top level. Head down to the lower level for the private gaming room with blackjack, roulette, and Caribbean stud poker.
There’s also the Lightning Casino, which is good for sports fans with boxing, baseball, soccer, hockey, football, basketball, and horse racing on big-screen TVs. This casino is close to the airport, with free rides to and from anywhere on the island and limos for high rollers.
Other casinos include The Pelican Casino, at the Pelican Resort in Simpson Bay, (Vegas-style) and the Golden Casino at the Great Bay Beach Hotel (good for big jackpot slots).
All in all, lots of choice if you can drag yourself away from the beach and the marine life!