Gibraltar and its Thriving Gambling and Casino Scene

Gibraltar gambling image
Gibraltar. Image Credit: Shutterstock

While it might be small, Gibraltar has an established gambling industry, offering visitors luxurious casinos and other tourism opportunities.

Gibraltar is renowned for its giant limestone rock towering 1,400 feet above this tiny tip of the Iberian Peninsula. As a British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar has been in British hands since the 18th century, providing an important base for the Royal Navy. Gibraltar is the smallest British territory by landmass, covering only 2,6 square miles. However, despite its minute size, it is a fun spot to visit because the territory has focused on tourism and gambling for the past 100 years.

Gambling Scene in Gibraltar

Some 20 years ago, Gibraltar decided to facilitate bookmakers and online gambling operators to do business. It loosened the laws that allowed for liberal gambling policies inside the territory. This came as a boon for the local tourism industry. Today, cruise ships from all over the world frequently use Gibraltar as a port of call. As a result, villas, resorts, and boutique hotels sprung up to cater to tourists who wished to gamble.

The origins of gambling in Gibraltar go back some time. After World War II, the local government initiated a lottery fund to support the area’s rebuilding. The lottery soon became so popular that the authorities decided to expand it while simultaneously using the proceeds to benefit the people who live in the exclave.

Currently, two operational casinos are based in Gibraltar. Of these, the Casino Admiral Gibraltar is the larger. This casino complex comprises two casinos and is located in the posh Ocean Village along the Bay of Gibraltar. The complex houses a casino with table games and slots, as well as a separate high-roller poker room. There are also on-site sportsbooks and a trendy bingo parlour.

Casino Admiral Gibraltar operates 12 different table games and 200 slot machines across 35,000 square feet of gambling space. However, one of the most popular features isn’t the actual casino, but its huge sports bar, where you can simultaneously follow and bet on games from all over the world.

The other gambling house is a floating luxury casino, the Sunborn Gibraltar. It offers guests a unique opportunity to cruise around the Mediterranean Sea while gambling. The accommodation on board the Sunborn is top-shelf, with the food and beverages highly rated. The ship has 189 suites, 60 slot machines, and 25 table games.

Onboard, guests can play blackjack, baccarat, craps, poker, and roulette. For those with deeper pockets, there are high-limit games.  The Sunborn Gibraltar was amongst the first establishments to offer luxury gaming cruises. Amenities on the ship include concierge service, table service for food and beverages, a four-star bar and restaurant, and a spa.

Nongambling Attractions

There are other things besides gambling to see and do in Gibraltar. A great place to visit is the remains of a fort constructed by the Moors more than 1,000 years ago. If you are a history whizz, Gibraltar offers a good springboard for many great sightseeing excursions.

You can also take a side trip to Morocco and visit the Marrakesh Markets and Casablanca, as well as Fez, where you can enjoy more casinos. You could also go to Spain and visit nearby Madrid, Seville, Cordoba, and Granada.

If you wish to remain in Gibraltar, you can visit St Michael’s Cave. Every year, more than a million tourists visit this large and beautiful grotto. Legend has it that archangel Michael appeared in this cave, as well as another one in Italy. Kids love playing around the hollow, while parents can relax knowing it is paved and well-lit.

Regular cable cars can take you to the top of the Gibraltar Rock, and, on the way down, you can enjoy some breath-taking views.  Also, one of the best things about Gibraltar is the multicultural heritage of the peninsula. This makes for a great bar and restaurant scene. Spanish, British, and Moroccan cuisine influence the territory’s eateries, creating remarkable blends of food and spirits.

Next time you plan your next holiday stop, you may want to consider Gibraltar. Beautiful landscape, world-class dining, and luxury casinos. What more could one possibly ask for?

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Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

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