Casinos have existed in The Bahamas for over one hundred years. The first casino, the small Bahamian Club,11 opened in 1920 in Nassau on New Providence Island and catered to mostly American tourists as a seasonal business. Although prior to 1960 gaming was not significant to the economy, illegal gaming flourished, and the Bahamian Club casino was the first casino in The Bahamas to receive a license and exemption to the prohibition of gaming, in an effort to curb and regulate illegal gaming. In 1964, the first larger casino, The Monte Carlo, opened in the Lucayan Beach Hotel on the Island of Grand Bahama. The second casino on Grand Bahama opened in Freeport two years later. Finally, the legislature responded and passed the 1969 Gaming Act, which remains in place today.
During the years following the passage of the 1969 Gaming Act, casinos continued to open and close on several islands. In part due to the growth of gaming, tourism became a dominant product of the Bahamian economy, and currently about forty percent of the workforce in The Bahamas are employed in resorts and casinos.