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Mauritius is a small island country off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. It’s very small in both area and population, and is home to only 1.2 million people. Mauritius has had a long history of being colonized by various countries, first by the Arabs, then the Dutch, then the French, and finally the English, although they are now independent.
English is the official language of Mauritius, although French does predominate as well and is the primary language of business. Mauritius’ economy is very well developed and diversified for an African country, and have the fourth highest per capita GDP on the continent. (1)
Mauritius is also a popular tourist destination and tourism factors heavily in their economy, and they are particularly known as a luxury tourist destination, and have also been named the best island tourist destination in the world. Since they do attract a more affluent group of tourists, this makes operating casinos even more attractive, and Mauritius does have casinos, and their 10 casinos gives them the fourth most in Africa, in spite of their small size. (2)
There are a total of 105 table games and 658 slot machines in Mauritius, so these casinos tend to be on the smaller side, but that’s the case with African casinos generally.
Gambling is therefore legal in Mauritius, at least partaking in regulated gambling, and in addition to the casinos, they have a lottery, horse racing, and a limited amount of regulated sports betting. The national lottery and betting on horses comprise the majority of gambling here. (3)
Mauritius has the oldest horse racing track in the Southern Hemisphere, the Champ de Mars in the capital of Port Louis, which regularly attracts crowds of over 30,000, which even goes up to 100,000 at times. They also have off track betting and several land based betting shops where players can place bets on sporting events.
So gambling is pretty wide open here and there is really no need for underground gambling. It’s a fairly well off country where people do enjoy gambling and if they want to play casino games or poker, well these 10 casinos are situated on a very small island, so you don’t really need to go far, and they can enjoy these other forms of gambling as well.
Mauritius’ gambling regulation is well developed, and they even offer online gambling licenses, although the small size of the country hasn’t generated any interest in anyone seeking a license as of yet, aside from some small online lotto sites. Within their most recent gambling law, passed in 2007, they also make it illegal for offshore operators to offer gambling to their residents, but of course these offshore operators aren’t subject to Mauritian law so they generally don’t care, although a few places do avoid accepting players from Mauritius.
Playing Poker in Mauritius
The casinos in Mauritius do offer poker, both casino poker and the real thing, although there is a real focus on Oasis Poker, which is a variation of Caribbean poker, meaning that players are playing against the house rather than each other.
However, they do roll out genuine poker here as well, where you do sit at a table with other players and play head to head with them, as is the case with Texas Holdem for instance, the world’s most popular variation of poker these days.
5 of the 10 casinos here have full time poker rooms where you can indeed play real poker, and although there’s only a total of 11 tables in the country, and therefore these poker rooms are very small, that’s a decent amount for Africa, and the close proximity of these poker rooms to all poker players in Mauritius ensures that anyone who wants to play live poker and has the means to do so has plenty of opportunity to do so. (4)
Mauritius also hosts various poker tournaments, and the live poker scene here is a pretty vibrant one, and some of their bigger tournaments attract players from throughout Africa and Asia. They even have a stop on the Asian Poker Tour in spite of not even being part of Asia, and this has really ramped up the interest of poker here. (5)
Poker is quite popular indeed in Mauritius and quite a few Mauritians play online, especially in proportion to their very small population. There are of course no domestic Mauritian online poker sites, but just about all of the top online poker rooms accept players from here with no issues, with the exception of Party Poker, who are the most conservative and don’t take players from many countries that other poker rooms have no issue with.
Technically, players from Mauritius aren’t supposed to be gambling online, but they do so anyway, and no one seems to really care, at least at the present time anyway. The focus of the laws here have been on operators really, and the government seems to be hoping that their regulated online gambling market will expand somehow, and by passing laws requiring a license to offer play to their people they seem to think that this will influence things, but it hasn’t, which isn’t a surprise really.
So if you are among the crowd in Mauritius that likes to play poker, and the game is really growing here, then you’ll certainly want to check out the online poker scene, and there’s nothing really stopping you from doing so. The real good news is that there are several outstanding online poker sites that will accept you, so you can not only enjoy playing online poker, you can enjoy it playing at the world’s best online poker sites.
Top Online Poker Sites Accepting Players from Mauritius
We have four top notch poker rooms for you to try out if you are from Mauritius and are looking to play a little online poker, or perhaps you play already but are looking for the very best sites to play at. All of these top poker rooms offer nice bonuses to first time players and they are all well worth checking out if you haven’t done so before.
888 Poker is our top ranked site in the world period, although the other picks aren’t far behind, and are worth trying out as well if you wish. 888 is a fabulous poker site in every way, from their state of the art software, to their excellent traffic levels, to their relatively soft competition, to their great customer service, and on and on. Five stars out of five for this one.
Bet 365 and Titan Poker are the top 2 poker rooms on the iPoker Network, which also boasts a lot of traffic and is very popular among online players from all over the world. These two sites are particularly well known for their very good treatment of their players and they understand that their main mission is to make poker players happy so they will keep coming back. They both do a great job of this.
Rounding our top 4 is Black Chip Poker, which is our top pick on the Winning Poker Network, which has grown a lot lately. Black Chip was always a very good site, but now that they get a very good amount of traffic as well, this has placed them in our top 4, and they well deserve to be there, as this is a nice site overall.