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Gambling in British Virgin Islands

All forms of gambling are illegal in the British Virgin Islands. Though a significant chunk of the world’s offshore companies are incorporated in this British overseas territory and it is also a popular tourist destination, the country is basically an opposite of a gaming paradise, as its regulations strictly prohibit any form of gambling. Lottery games and sweepstakes are permitted for charitable companies only.

The extremely strict British Virgin Islands gambling laws authorize police to enter a house or a place that is suspected as the location of gambling or betting practices or holding of lottery tickets. The authorities can also seize any instruments or money suspiciously linked to illegal gambling activities.

There is a Poker Run, which is a boat race organized annually with competitors collecting cards at each of the five checkpoints and the highest poker hand wins the competition. Locals criticized the government for supporting an event that involves playing cards and prize money, while they can’t even play legal lottery games or bet on horse racing because of the regulations.

The British Virgin Islands, that consists of 50 smaller islands with fifteen of those inhabited featuring Necker Island, Richard Branson’s remarkable property, isn’t a tax haven for companies involved in offline or online gambling either. There are only a few online operators incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, but most of them don’t accept local players.

Instead of gambling, drug trafficking is actually the main threat to the British Virgin Islands. Sitting next to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands of the United States, and thus being a gateway between the U.S. and Latin America, the country is a key destination for drug smugglers.

Online Gambling in British Virgin Islands

Though the use of the internet is not regulated by the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, since it bans all forms of gambling, any practice of online gambling is prohibited too. There are a few online gambling destinations incorporated in the country that accept users from the British Virgin Islands however. Binary option trading like Forex is permitted through the Financial Services Commission.