The situation with Sierra Leone's casinos is much as you would expect in a dirt poor, grossly unequal, country just recovering from a devastating civil war. It is not exactly the most welcoming of tourist destinations, but still a place with a casino, and as the end of the war has raised hopes of improving that tourist industry, more on the way.
The country was founded by the British (at least, the modern version of the country was) as a place to return those slaves who had fought for them in the American Revolution. This was driven by much the same impulse that led the Americans themselves to found the country next door, Liberia, fifty years later. It also led to exactly the same problems 150 years later, for the returning freed slaves set themselves up as the ruling class and essentially lorded it over the indigenous tribes. In both countries, this led to vicious (and interlinked) civil wars in the 1990's, which have only just been resolved. The countries are slowly returning to some form of normality.
Sierra Leone has had a further problem in that much of the wealth there was earned by the mining of gold and diamonds: this has led to the "resource curse," which means the rulers live high on the hog from the fees for those products, while leaving the rest of the country to founder in desperate poverty.
In these circumstances, and Sierra Leone's casinos are no different, you expect to see one or two flashy places in the capital, where that small elite can gamble and show off, while the rest of the population not only doesn't gamble, but they don't even have the cash money with which to do so.
A list of Sierra Leone casinos includes:
Freetown: Bintumani Hotel & Casino
The Bintumani has blackjack and roulette tables.
There are also rumors that a second hotel is opening in Freetown with a casino: the Hotel Kimbima. Little is known about the games and tables they will be offering.
In common with many other African countries, there is a hope that expansion of the tourist trade will help the economy grow. Perhaps, those Europeans fleeing the gloom of a Northern Hemisphere winter can be seduced into spending time in the country, perhaps attracted by an expansion of Sierra Leone's casinos? The only problem with this plan is that if everyone follows it there might not be enough tourists to go around.
About the Author: A. Awwad is the webmaster of Internet Casinos
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