Aruba is a small island in the Caribbean Sea, not far off the coast of Venezuela. Known as “one happy island,” it is a major tourist destination for vacationers from around the world. Many people travel to Aruba to experience the wonderful beaches, superb weather, marvelous scenery, a variety of water sports, and the non-stop entertainment and fun of the Aruba casinos. It has been a popular location for the series of tournament games played in the World Poker Tour for a number of years. Some Aruba casinos are open 24 hours, and others open at 11:00 a.m. for slots and 1:00 p.m. for games and remain open until the wee hours of the morning. Gambling in Aruba casinos is done with U.S. currency, but the payouts are seldom as spectacular as what you’ll find in Nevada or New Jersey.
There are several casinos in hotels on the island in the capital of Oranjestad and on Palm Beach. One lavish, Vegas-style casino in Aruba is the Stellaris Casino at the Aruba Marriott Resort, with over 18,000 square feet of gambling space. Open from 10:00 a.m. for slots and 12 Noon for games, the excitement of this Aruba casino lasts until 4:00 a.m. The Stellaris has 500 slots, 33 table games, such as baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette, and 500 bingo seats. The casino features the popular game of Caribbean Stud Poker, which was invented in Aruba in 1988, and has progressive jackpots that can add up to thousands of dollars. The Stellaris Casino also has a live band, giant screen TV, and weekly blackjack and slot tournaments.
The Renaissance Crystal and Seaport Casino, also open 24 hours, has 27,000 square feet, with 780 slots and 35 table games, in addition to 600 bingo seats, a race book, and a sports book. Another Aruba casino is the Excelsior at the Holiday Inn Sun Spree Resort. The Excelsior Casino, open 24 hours, has 257 slots and progressive machines, and 16 table games including blackjack, roulette, poker, and craps. In addition, it is the site for the Ultimate Bet Poker Classic, a stop on the world-famous World Poker Tour. Poker players can enter this tournament, with an estimated prize pool of over $4 million dollars, either with a $6,100 buy-in or through winning a satellite tournament.
Other popular Aruba casinos are located in various hotels on the island including the one at the Radisson Resort, with 330 slots and 17 table games, the Copa Cabana Casino at the Hyatt Regency on Palm Beach, and the Casablanca Casino.