Two countries are located on Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Carribean Sea. These countries are Haiti (27,750 km2 in size) and the Dominican Republic (48,445 km2 in size). Haiti is a French and Haitian Creole-speaking country situated on the western side of Hispaniola, while the Dominican Republic – where Spanish is the official language – takes up the central and eastern part of the island.
The Dominican Republic is the largest economy in the Caribbean, and it is also on the top-10 list for the whole of Latin America, which is quite impressive considering how small the country is. Between 1992 and 2014, it enjoyed an average real GBP growth rate of 5.4 percent. For the period 2014 – 2016, the growth rate has been even higher, a trend chiefly driven by construction, manufacturing, tourism, and mining.
How many people live in the Dominican Republic?
The 2018 population estimate for the Dominican Republic is circa 10.7 million people. Roughly 3 million of these live in the Santo Domingo metropolitan area.
What’s the official currency in the Dominican Republic?
The currency of the Dominica Republic is the Dominican peso (DOP).
The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean countries that receives the largest amount of visitors each year. There are a lot of big resorts here, such as the Casa De Campo which includes over 1,700 private villas and a 400-berth marina.
One of the reasons why tourists flock to the Dominican Republic is to enjoy the golf courses, which are open year round. Naturally, the pale sandy Caribbean beaches and the pleasant climate are also big draws. In recent years, ecotourism has become increasingly important in the DR, e.g. hikes through the dry forest, mangrove environments, scrublands, and beaches of the Jaragua National Park.
The highest point of the Dominican Republic, Pico Duarte in the Cordillera Central range, is characterized by a surprisingly cool climate for the Caribbean, with temperatures dropping well below freezing during winter nights. With its 3,098 meter elevation, this peak is higher than any other island peak in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic is also home to the largest lake in the Caribbean – the hypersaline Lago Enriquillo where the lake surface is 46 meters below sea level. Lake Enriquillo is home to the largest population of American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) in the Caribbean.
Christopher Columbus expedition reached Hispaniola in 1492, and Santo Domingo soon became the first permanent European settlement in the Americas. As a consequence of this, the Dominican Republic is the site of the first cathedral, the first European monastery, the first European fortress, and the first European castle built in the New World. Today, Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist destination.
Casino gambling in the Dominican Republic
Casino gambling is legal in the Dominican Republic and it’s difficult to find a Caribbean country with more casinos than this. At the time of writing, there is roughly 35 different casinos to visit here, including the Hard Rock casino in Punta Cana which is the second-largest casino in the Caribbean (only Atlantis in the Bahamas is bigger). Horse race betting and sports betting is also legal here, and the country has both horseracing tracks and sports betting parlours.
Examples of popular table games in DR are roulette, blackjack, craps, 3-card poker, and Caribbean stud poker. The largest casinos tend to have at least one or two tables where you can play poker (typically No Limit Texas Hold’em) against other guests.
A majority (but not all!) of the gambling establishments in DR are found in either the capital Santo Domingo or in the posh resort town Punta Cana. Generally speaking, the casinos in Punta Cana are more hoity-toity than the ones located in the capital, and tend to attract more foreign visitors than the ones in Santo Domingo. In Punta Cana, both guests and staff are likely to understand English, while this is not the case in the capital.
It is very common for casinos in DR to accept both Dominican pesos and United States dollars. Especially in Punta Cana, there are many tables where the gambling is in USD. The Hard Rock casino does, for instance, have much more tables for dollars than for pesos.
Good to know about the Dominican Republic
Size: 48,671 km2 (18,792 sq mi) of which less than one percent is water
Population size: Roughly 10.7 million at the 2018 estimate
Official language: Spanish
Capital: Santo Domingo
Most populous city: Santo Domingo
Currency: Dominican peso (DOP)
Driving side: Right
Time zone: UTC +4 (Standard Time Caribbean)
Internet top level domain: .do
ISO 3166 code: DO