By Adel Awwad
Vanuatu is a collection of more than 83 islands located in the Pacific Ocean. A beautiful country of blue lagoons, breathtaking waterfalls, perfect beaches, and dramatic rainforests, all enjoyed by a total population of just 222,000. This doesn’t sound like it offers much to the gambling man, but in fact you’d be surprised. Since the 1980’s, casinos have been legalized, and now there are two Vanuatu casinos, both located in the cosmopolitan capital, Port Vila, a city that has been described as the “most beautiful capital in the Pacific.”
The first of the Vanuatu casinos and the country’s premier gambling destination is the Palms Casino, located in the Tassiriki Park area of Port Vila and based in the Le Meridien Hotel. This casino is truly international, with its table game rules based on Australian casinos. Most international currencies are accepted, and bets are accepted from a little as 100 Vatu (less than one US dollar) to as much as 500,000 Vatu (around $5,000). The casino has sixty-three slot machines and nine gaming tables, five tables offering blackjack, two tables for mini-baccarat (the main difference with baccarat/American baccarat being that with the former, the dealer is always the banker, rather than the dealership alternating among the players), and two tables where you can try your luck on the roulette wheel. The Le Meridien Hotel is the country’s most luxurious, and enjoys many traveller-friendly features, such as its location on its own private island, the Namele Day Spa, three restaurants (including a bar inside the casino), two outdoor swimming pools, luxurious gardens, and a golf course.
The second of the Vanuatu casinos is Club 21 Limited, located in the Melanesian Hotel, in the Shefa region of the city. It has sixty-six slot machines and offers gamers a choice of baccarat or blackjack. The Melanesian Hotel is a grand luxury hotel with 85 rooms, two restaurants (Gino’s and Oasis Bar and Grill), and sports facilities including an outdoor swimming pool and tennis court.
In summary then, this idyllic Pacific paradise and its beautiful capital city offer a good choice of gambling opportunities for when the sun sets on the sandy beaches and blue lagoons.
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