It’s the place where 21 is only a Blackjack, not the legal age to drink, smoke or gamble. In Aruba 18 is the magic number.
Since smoking is out of the question in my case, I sip the drinks and double down on 11’s. Of all the adult pleasures gambling is definately my favorite. In Aruba I skipped the bar hopping, put on my suit and headed to the casinos.
The island of Aruba is known as the island with the most casinos in all of the Caribbean. If you want to gamble in the Carribbean, this is the place to go to! Nassau and St. Martin also offer casinos, but I would go to Aruba if I were you! I decided to try and visit as many casinos as I could during my stay. I only went at night however as I despise casinos during the day. Their rush of excitement only appeals to me at night. Sure it’s no Vegas, but the lighting inside still gives it that Las Vegas feel.
You will want to skim the Aruba Today paper and the local Aruba guides. You’ll want to do it daily. You can find interesting deals such as match coupons and drink chits for certain casinos. At the Westin Casablanca Casino, the gentleman gets $5 and the lady he brings in gets two drink coupons. The Westin is going through heavy renovations; probably a good a reason why they offer such a sweet deal. The casino is in decent shape. I am however a little skeptical of the electronic card shuffling machines. The mood and the dealers are not friendly. There is also no live band or any kind of music. Most of the slot machines are the new computerized lcd type- not cool!
Next door at the Raddisson, the casino is underground. It looks pretty neat as it has this outer space/universe feel with the entire ceiling with shining stars and lights. You can get a $25 dollar roulette match coupon from the Aruba newspapers. Didn’t hang out too much here either, but did win some at Blackjack tables.
The Excelsior Casino at the Holiday Inn Resort is very small and most tables were closed down. Not that many people there either. You can get a $5 match play coupon for Blackjack or Caribbean Stud from the Aruba guide. My least favorite place- left after five minutes.
The casino at the Occidental Grand resort is run-down, old and reaks of cigarettes and ashes. The ventilation system here must be bust- pun intended. The casino itself is pretty good though. Both nights there- it was chock full of people. All the tables are open and are filled to maximum capacity. You can get a $10 match coupon from the Aruba guide and it will work for Blackjack and a few other games. I won about $50 dollars in three minutes playing Blackjack, much less time than I spent actually waiting to get a seat- that’s how full this place is. Something very neat about this casino is that they offer two games of Bingo every night and both are free. One card per person, one game at 22:30(10:30PM) and the next at 23:15(11:15PM). You need to get a full card to get Bingo. If you get a full card within the first 50 numbers called you win $1,000 bucks. If no one gets that, they continue calling numbers until someone calls Bingo and the consolation prize is $100. I wish I attended every night as I didn’t have luck on my two games.
The next two casinos are absolute favorites.
The Stellaris Casino at the Marriott property has been recently renovated. It is a very big casino and it is very clean and well ventilated. While some may tease me about this, the air quality is actually very important to me. I try to lead a healthy lifestyle so I pay attention to this detail. I go to casino to play, hopefully win and have a good time, not to poison myself! I’ve had the most luck at this Casino and whatever I lost at the other places I won back at the Marriott for a Final Profit of 120 bucks. On my last night in Aruba, I played until 3:30AM because I had such a good time. The staff is very friendly, the drinks here are good and the live karaoke and band keeps you in a good mood. I also like the low minimums here. Blackjack starts from a $5 minimum. There are no deals or coupons for this casino, but it is well worth the visit.
The casino at the Hyatt hotel has been also recently renovated. They have the best deal of all the places. You just sign up for their player’s club- free of charge, and you get $10 cash up front. No coupon or voucher or credit- just cold, hard cash! In order to get this offer, you will need to bring a print out from the Aruba guide. Only one per person! This casino, in my opinion, has the friendliest staff.
The live jazz band creates the best mood from all of the casinos. Unfortunately, listening to music was what I mostly did at this casino- lady luck doesn’t come in here often. I lost a bunch of money at this place, but luckily the Marriott Stelaris helped me win it back(see above). The only thing that helped me ”make” some money here were the slots. In my opinion, the slots a the Hyatt casino are the luckiest of all the casinos.
Have I visited all the casinos in Aruba? No, but I did visit most. The only other two that I am aware of is the Alhambra(in the low rise hotel area on Eagle Beach) and the one at the Renaissance hotel in downtown Oranjestad. The Renaissance Hotel casino is the oldest and most popular casino on the island of Aruba.
The idea of going to a casino has exicted and enticed me for a while now and I was very fortunate to be able to try out some gambling. I will be heading to Vegas when I turn 21 for some repeat action. Gambling however can be as dangerous as drinking or smoking when handled inappropriately. I am good guy though and can control myself.
Have a lucky clicK life,