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Seychelles is a very small island nation off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Seychelles is the smallest independent nation in Africa, with only 90,000 spread out over 177 square miles, and is also the smallest country in the world to have their own currency.
Seychelles has been inhabited throughout recorded history, and were last possessed by Great Britain, who they achieved their independence from in 1976. They are still part of the British Commonwealth.
The biggest challenge in running a nation so small is that there are a lot of fixed costs involved in running a country and with so few people to spread it out among, a country can get into a lot of per capita debt, and this is exactly what has happened in Seychelles.
The economy here was traditionally based upon agriculture, but after they achieved independence, there was a big shift toward tourism, and Seychelles quickly became popular among jet setters, and is a beautiful country to visit to be sure. The agriculture sector now only employs 3% of the people here, and the tourism sector is now 10 times larger than that, a full 30% of their economy.
GDP per capita is still very high when compared to other African nations, about $25,000 a year. The movement lately has been to try to diversify the economy more and move away from relying on tourism so much, although it still is a dominant force. (1)
Seychelles is very open to gambling and gambling is fully legal here, although it is regulated and one can only gamble at licensed establishments. Seychelles has passed several gambling acts over the years, with the latest being enacted in 2014. (2)
These regulations are the usual fare, but it is noteworthy that Seychelles has such a robust regulatory framework given the tiny size of this country. However, the main focus of it hasn’t been on the Seychellois people, it has been on the world at large.
Seychelles first became interested in regulating online gambling sites all the way back in 2003, in an effort to boost their economy by collecting licensing fees from these gambling sites in exchange for regulating them. However, this is a pretty popular thing for smaller countries to do, and they have faced fierce competition from much larger and more experienced jurisdictions, and to date only 2 online gambling sites have been licensed in Seychelles, both online casinos. (3)
Seychelles also has land-based casinos and sports betting, as well as it being legal for their residents to gamble online generally. This is a very gambling friendly jurisdiction.
There are 4 land-based casinos in Seychelles, focused both on residents and tourists, although the tourists do factor significantly into the equation, and Seychelles gets about 240,000 tourist visits a year, almost 3 times their population.
There are 28 table games and 154 slot machines in Seychelles, with 3,500 square feet of gambling space, so these are pretty small casinos to be sure. However, given the very small size of Seychelles, having this much gambling on a small island of 90,000 people is very impressive.
Given the physical size of the island, all of the casinos here are well within reach, and 3 are in the capital of Victoria, although all of them are within easy driving distance no matter where you live in Seychelles.
Playing Poker In Seychelles
With such a small population, that in itself is going to really limit the amount of poker that is played here, but nonetheless, poker is a pretty popular game here. All 4 of Seychelles’ casinos have poker rooms, and there is actually a surprising amount of full time poker tables in Seychelles 13 in total, one of the highest counts on the continent of Africa. (4)
So this isn’t quite the poker they have in South Africa for instance, the poker hub of Africa, with their 19 poker rooms and 53 poker tables, but Seychelles outdistances almost all African countries when it comes to how many poker rooms they have.
So especially since these poker rooms are all within easy reach of all the people in Seychelles, poker players here can play all the live poker they wish, and the land based poker scene is a pretty vibrant one.
Poker players here can also play all the online poker they wish as well, and this places poker within even easier reach, as you don’t even have to leave the house to play online poker of course, and you can even take it with you on your mobile phone, although playing poker does use up a fair bit of data over time and you want to make sure you have a good data plan if you are looking to play poker on your phone.
In spite of their not being any licensed and regulated online poker sites in Seychelles, players here can choose from among the best online poker sites in the world, and almost all of them warmly accept them.
So the selection is awesome, and over half of the people here have access to the internet here, an unusually high amount for African nations, and that together with the unusual popularity of poker in an African country makes online poker a pretty popular pursuit here.
Top Online Poker Sites Accepting Players from Seychelles
From among all the very many online poker sites that Seychellois online poker players may choose among, we have a list for you of the four very best from among these possible choices. All offer nice welcome bonuses to new depositors, and 888 Poker doesn’t even require you to deposit for you to get some free poker cash from them.
888 Poker is our top selection for you, but all of these 4 are well worthy of your consideration and well worthy of your trying them out. 888 Poker just happens to be regarded by a great deal of players as well as critics as the best online poker site in the world. They are second in popularity only to PokerStars, although 888 offers a much more player-friendly site than the shark infested waters of their main competitor.
So PokerStars doesn’t even warrant making our list for this reason, as we aren’t here to promote poker rooms with this section, we are out to advise players on what is best for them. Poker Stars is far and away the most widely promoted poker site on the internet, which is why they are so big, but you need a better reason to play somewhere than someone promoting them.
Bet365 Poker and Titan Poker are definitely player friendly though, and this network of dozens of poker rooms boots off poker sites that bring too many sharp players. These are not players that common poker players want to play against, and that’s far and away the biggest consideration in choosing a poker site actually. Both these sites offer everything else an online poker player could want though, in abundance.
Black Chip Poker rounds out our top 4 for you, and although they aren’t quite as popular as the other 3 in terms of traffic, they have really closed the gap lately as the word has gotten out about how good this site is. There’s lots of fish here for sure, even American fish, as they take Americans as well. This site is well worth checking out as well..