Uruguay, the second smallest country in South America, allows three forms of legalized gambling: casinos, pari-mutuel, and horse racing. Tourists are the main visitors to the Uruguay casinos, where most of the well-known international games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, punto-bunco, and poker, as well as the ever popular slot machines, are played. Poker is extremely popular, as it is in most South American countries, and a number of different types are played here such as Caribbean Stud and Texas Hold’em.
There are 15 cities with 18 gambling facilities spread throughout the country in regions including Artigas, Atlantida, Carmelo, Chui, Fray Bentos, La Paloma, Paysandu, Piriapolis, Rivera, and Salto Grande. The Casino de Estado Victoria Plaza in Montevideo, the capital, has 12 table games and over 500 slots, while the largest Uruguay casino is the 36,000 square foot Conrad Resort and Casino in Punta del Este, with 80 table games and 640 slot and video gaming machines. Punta del Este is an upscale tourist spot, a beach resort located between the Rio de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean. As a beach resort, it has the distinction of two different beaches, one for surfers, and one for calmer water activities such as swimming and water skiing. It is reasonable, therefore, that this resort would feature a large casino, as well, as part of its lively nightlife and daytime activities. There are also four restaurants, two bars, and a hotel at this resort. Two other large casinos in Punta del Este are the Mantra Resort and Spa, with 185 slots and 30 table games, and the Casino Nogaro with 240 slots and 10 table games.
Other Uruguay casinos include the Carmelo Hotel and Casino, with 48 slots and eight table games, and the Casino Hotel Rivera with 74 slots and nine table games. Salto, the 2nd largest town in Uruguay and linked to the neighboring country of Argentina by a bridge, also has a casino in the Hotel Horacio-Quiroga, with 50 slots and eight table games. This is another tourist-friendly place with numerous activities, such as water sports, horseback riding, sailing, and the well-known hot springs in the area. In addition, there are Uruguay casinos in various cities including the Casino de Estado Chui, the Sala de Esparcimientos in Artigas, the Sala Sarandi in Rivera, and the Sala Rocha that only offer slots and video gaming machines.