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Sports Betting in The Bahamas

Sports betting is illegal but extremely popular amongst locals. People commonly place bets in “web shops” which are illegal but operate in plain view. The authorities turn a blind eye to these operations even though they are illegal.

Last year the national parliament passed a Gaming Act allowing foreigners to place bets in the country’s land-based casinos. For example, many visitors bet on American sporting events at the Atlantis. As the Bahamas lies just miles from the United States, many Americans now go there to place wagers on American football, basketball, baseball, and university sporting events.

This has angered some locals who want the same privileges that foreigners have, but as of now they cannot legally place bets.

Online Sports Betting in The Bahamas

The government does not license online sports betting sites. In addition, it is illegal for both locals to access them from the country. However, many people place online wagers in “web shops” which despite being illegal operate in plain view of the authorities.

Many opponents of gambling, the local clergy in particular, see wagering in “web shops” as a major social ill that the government should focus more attention on combating. In 2013 a referendum which would have legalized betting shops specializing in online wagers failed.

Foreigners can access online betting sites if it is legal for them to do so in their home country. For example, British tourists can while Americans cannot.