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Reunion, off the coast of Africa, is a small island with an area of only 970 square miles, and a population of about 850,000. Reunion is considered an “overseas department” of France, and they have their own regional government and are also represented in the French government.
By virtue of being part of France, Reunion is part of the European Union and the Eurozone, and this definitely benefits their economy, being able to trade freely with European nations. Sugar has historically been the biggest industry, although tourism has taken over these days as the prime driver of the economy.
Reunion has a high per capita GDP compared to African regions, although they function more like a European region than an African one, in spite of their isolation from the continent of Europe. In spite of their average per capita GDP of over $26,000, unemployment is very high here, about 30%, and over 40% of the people live below the poverty line. (1)
Reunion has always had major class divisions, from the days where they had slavery, and when that was abolished, they brought in indentured workers instead, and while the gap has narrowed between the classes, it’s still pretty big.
Reunion does have legal land based gambling, although the only forms that are available here are their land based casinos and their lottery. The casinos are out of reach of a good many people in Reunion, but are in reach for a good many as well. (2)
Reunion does have a total of four casinos, located in 3 different cities, although these casinos are on the smaller side even by African standards. The largest has 6 table games, 2 poker tables, and 80 video gaming and slot machines. In total, there are 20 table games and 256 slot machines on the island. (3)
Both tourists and islanders are welcome at the casinos. For those unable to afford to play at the casinos, they are relegated to either playing the lottery or gambling online. About 33% of the population in Reunion has access to the internet, and this tends to be the people better off economically, so there are plenty of folks with both the means and the opportunity to gamble online.
Still though, this only represents about 300,000 people with access to the internet, so this is far from a major online gambling market, no matter how you slice it. Still though, that’s more than some countries have, and ones with a lot bigger population as well.
With 4 casinos located on an island this small, with everything within easy driving distance, there’s lots of opportunity to gamble the old fashioned way as well, with real tables, dealers, and slot machines, in addition to the action that you can find online, however nothing beats the convenience of playing from home or on your mobile device.
Playing Poker in Reunion
Reunion does have 2 full time live poker tables at one of its casinos, the Casino de Saint Denis, and 2 tables are better than no tables for sure for those who crave the excitement of face to face live poker. That’s one poker table for every 425,000 people though, which is a better ratio than some countries for sure, and some don’t even have any live poker tables, so they at least do have a couple here. (4)
This does tell you that live poker isn’t all that big here though, even among the tourists, and Reunion does get quite a few tourists for an island of such a small size, and they even had to build a second airport to accommodate all of the flights. Most are ecotourists though and that’s the big appeal of Reunion, not gambling, and especially not poker.
As far as online poker goes, since Reunion is part of France, players are either relegated to the domestic French online poker sites, which many players in mainland France are disenchanted with, or play at an online poker site that doesn’t care if you are from France or not.
There has been a big movement away from accepting players from France on the main sites of the world’s leading poker rooms, as this is more than just a grey area, it’s a black one.
While players in countries where access to online poker is blocked will just connect by way of a virtual private network, or VPN, where they are actually connecting to the internet from another country, and one without these restrictions, that really doesn’t help you when the poker rooms themselves don’t accept players from the country where you live.
The problem is that you generally will have to prove that you live where you say you live, so if you lie about this you will actually have to have documentation that you actually live in this other country before you’ll be able to make a withdrawal. So that’s not going to help players from Reunion unless they actually have addresses abroad they can use.
Fortunately though, we do have an excellent recommendation for you that takes players from Reunion, France, and just about every other country in the world, and you also play at their main site, not one just for players from a certain country only, as is the case with the French regulated sites.
The Top Online Poker Site for Players from Reunion
This is a very easy call, as there is just one site that they will let you play at and is worthy of our recommendation as well, and that’s Black Chip Poker. Many players have never heard of this site, but it’s an excellent one and among our top 5 sites among all the online poker sites in the world actually.
Black Chip is part of the Winner Poker Network, a poker network that has really climbed the traffic rankings lately, and this has catapulted Black Chip, the premier poker site on this network, to be worthy of making our overall top 5 list. Since there are only a total of 5 poker rooms on this list, a poker room has to be very good to be on it, and they all are, including Black Chip.
So if you look around our site you will see us recommending Black Chip Poker to players from all countries, so this is by no means a watered down recommendation based upon a limited number of good poker sites, as is the case with Reunion.
New players get a nice welcome package including some free bonus cash just to give it a try. I’m sure you will agree that it’s a very worthy poker site no matter where you live.