US Casinos Contemplating A Return To Cuba

US Casinos Contemplating A Return To Cuba Prior to 1959, the island paradise of Cuba was a hot spot for US tourists to visit and gamble in some of the country’s 13 legalized casinos located just 90 miles from the coast of Florida. That all changed after Fidel Castro came to power, and shut down an industry he considered a “sin”, but decades later and Cuba could once again become a popular casino destination after President Barack Obama announced a thaw in relations between the two countries.
“Neither the American nor Cuban people are well served by a rigid policy that’s rooted in events that took place before most of us were born,” explained President Obama.
Furthermore, more than half a century of inactivity could contribute to a speedy rebirth of casinos on Cuba, as the ornate buildings built to become mob owned casinos are still standing frozen in time and waiting to be refurbished and opened up under new management. As Nova Southeastern University professor Bob Jarvis, explains:
“I don’t think there’s any question every casino executive in the United States and beyond is thinking of a plan to get into Cuba. It was the play land for the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, and it could be again. It’s fabulous.”
Despite the excitement, however, Spectrum Gaming managing director Michael Pollock has warned that even if President Raul Castro approved gambling today, it could take as long as 10 years for the first casinos to open it doors again. Amongst the many factors limiting a more expedient time scale is the need for Cuba to have an open and stable administration, with a regulatory system transparent enough to encourage businesses to invest their capital on the island’s neglected tourism infrastructure. In addition, Cuba has a lot more competition now than it did back then, with  numerous destinations offering casino gambling available in the US, or on islands scattered around the Caribbean.
Nevertheless, the Caribbean’s largest island has always held a fascination in the minds of tourists drawn towards its beautiful scenery, friendly people, and lively music, and as Michael Pollock explains: “But it’s a beautiful island, and there’s an enormous curiosity factor.”

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