Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I play poker in Asia?

Poker is a popular game across Asia. Many countries of cash poker games and even more countries have tournament poker. However, in some countries poker is illegal or cash games are illegal but tournament poker is legal. Of course, you might find underground cash games in many places.

Is poker legal in Asia?

Legality of poker in Asia is mixed. Also online poker can have different laws. Below is a summary for live poker, playing for cash prizes. Also, legal does not mean every game is legal. The operator still requires necessary government permits and if you want to play safe, you should ensure the operator has those permits.

 

Poker is all or mostly legal in these countries as of 2023

Philippines: Live cash poker games are legal in the Philippines. Live tournament poker is legal in the Philippines.

Cambodia: Live cash poker games are legal in the Cambodia. Live tournament poker is legal in the Cambodia.

Macau: Live cash poker games are legal in Macau. Live tournament poker is legal in the Macau.

Australia: Live cash poker games are legal. Live tournament poker is legal.

New Zealand: Live cash poker games are legal. Live tournament poker is legal.

 

Most tournament poker legal in these countries as of 2023

Taiwan: Live cash poker games are illegal in Taiwan. Live tournament poker is legal in Taiwan.

Vietnam: Live cash poker games are illegal in Vietnam. Live tournament poker is legal in Vietnam.

China: Live cash poker games are illegal in China. Live tournament poker is legal in China.

 

Limited legal poker games in these countries as of 2023

South Korea: Live cash poker games are illegal in Korea, except for foreigners. Live tournament poker is legal in Korea.

Japan: Live cash poker games are illegal in Korea. Live tournament poker is illegal in Japan, except for non-cash prizes, which is legal.

 

No legal poker games in these countries as of 2023

Indonesia: All poker is illegal in Indonesia.

Thailand: All poker is illegal in Thailand.

Are there live poker tournaments in Asia?

Yes, there are many live poker tournaments in Asia. Countries with tournaments include the Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Cambodia, China and Macau. Japan has non-cash prizes only. Popular destinations for live tournament poker are Manila, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Seoul and Taipei. All major poker tournament series in Asia are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia.

Which countries in Asia have poker?

Countries in Asia with poker include Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Japan, Korea, China, Macau, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines and Cambodia.

Which country is the best for grinding poker in Asia?

Manila in the Philippines is a great places to grind cash games and tournaments. There are many poker rooms and a variety of stakes from PHP25/50 to PHP500/1000 (USD0.5/1 to US10/20) and higher in private games. For grinding tournaments, Vietnam and Taiwan are also suitable. Cambodia has both cash games and tournaments but limited number of rooms. All these locations have very low living expenses.

What is the tax on poker in Asia?

Unlike in the USA, most profits on live poker are tax free. Visit www.pokercalendar.asia for details on poker tax in Asia.  

How big is poker in Asia?

Cash games in poker are relatively small compared to USA and Europe. However, live tournaments are very popular in Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

How popular is poker in Asia?

Live poker is popular in many Asian countries. Live poker is most popular in the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Korea and Macau. Cambodia, Japan and Malaysia also have live poker but less.

Which city in Asia is the best for cash game poker?

Manila is the best city for live cash games. Stakes range from baby to giant and there are many poker rooms and casinos to choose from. Underground home games are also easily found. Further living expenses can be very low in Manila.

Which city in Asia is the best for live poker?

Manila is the best city for players who want cash and tournament poker. Poker is legal in the Philippines. Stakes range from baby to giant and there are many poker rooms and casinos to choose from. Further living expenses can be very low in Manila. 

Which city in Asia is the best for tournament poker?

Many cities in Asia are chock full of live tournament poker. Manila, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Hanoi, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Seoul all have live tournament poker. All major poker tournament series in Asia are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia.

Does Philippines have poker tournaments?

Yes, Philippines does have live poker tournaments. Manila has the most live poker tournaments. Okada casino has the PokerStars Live poker room with daily and weekly tournaments. They also hold larger poker events about once each month including Megastack and the APPT. Resorts World holds occasional larger live tournament series such as the Asian Poker Tour. Other poker rooms with live tournaments include the Metro Card Club, GG Poker, Master poker and Red Dragon poker room. Cebu also has some live poker tournaments. All major tournament series in Philippines are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia.

What is the tax for poker in the Philippines?

There is no tax on live poker winnings in the Philippines. There is no tax on winnings in cash games in the Philippines and there is not tax on poker tournament winnings in the Philippines. This makes playing live poker in the Philippines more profitable.

Does Manila have poker?

Manila has a long history of poker. There are many casinos with poker and some dedicated poker card rooms too. Mostly they play no-limit hold’em, but pot-limit Omaha is also played in some rooms. You can find cash game poker and tournament poker in Manila. Stakes range from very low to very high, with typical stakes with blinds 25/50 peso.

Does Cambodia have poker tournaments?

Cambodia does have live poker tournaments. Nagaworld, a fully licensed casino in Phnom Penh, has weekly tournaments. Also, many large tours pass through, including the World Poker Tour and the Asian Poker Tour. The cities of Sihanoukille and Poipet have also held international tournaments in the past although as of 2022 these are not a steady affair. All major tournament series in Cambodia are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia.

What is the tax for poker in Cambodia?

For us travelling poker players, every expense, the flight tickets, accommodation, food and sundries, they all add up real quick. So, to be a profitable player, the last thing we need is to be taxed on our poker winnings. Well, this is a good news article about tax. I’m looking forward to playing regular live tournaments in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and in Cambodia there is zero tax on poker winnings. That’s zero for tournament winnings and zero for cash winnings.

Furthermore, payouts are in USD so there is worries about carrying bundles of cash in another currency or rushing off to an exchange before your flight out. This compares favorably to say USA, with a 30% withholding tax on large tournament cashes for many players, or even Vietnam say with a 10% tax on tournament profits.

Does Phnom Penh have poker?

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, does have live poker games. You can play legal live poker games, cash and tournaments, at the Nagaworld casino. There are several other poker rooms in Phnom Penh too, that have poker cash games too, including Omaha (PLO). Those rooms might not be fully licensed. Also, several pubs and bars hold small stakes games and tournaments. All major tournament series in Phnom Penh are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia.

Does Vietnam have poker tournaments?

Vietnam has many poker tournaments. As of 2023, Hanoi has the most live poker tournaments. In Hanoi, there are more than 3 major poker rooms. You can play live poker tournaments at the Grand Loyal Poker room, the Crown poker room and the VSOP poker room. There are small-stakes poker tournaments as well as medium stakes. Often these rooms host larger international series such as the WPT and the Asian Poker Tour. Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) also has live poker tournaments, including daily tournaments and weekly tournaments. All major tournament series in Vietnam are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia.

What is the tax for poker in Vietnam?

Taxation on live poker earnings in Vietnam. In Vietnam, normal tournament rake is taken out. However, if you cash in a poker tournament, the cashier will also remove 10% “tax” on your profits. Your profit is the prize won minus the total of your buy-ins for that event. Whether or not this is a legal tax is debatable, but you cannot avoid paying it. If you cut a deal at final table, the distribution calculation is complicated by each person’s tax calculation.

Does Ho Chi Minh have poker?

Ho Chi Minh has a lot of live poker. However, due to the pandemic, many of the rooms have closed down. Some opened up again in 2022 and some new poker rooms opened up too. Cash games are still not fully legal in Vietnam, however, poker tournaments are often fully legal. In 2018, the Asia Poker Tour was the first organizer to host an international event in Vietnam at the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh City. Since then, many international poker events have been held in Ho Chi Minh. All major poker tournament series in Ho Chi Minh are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia.

Does Saigon have poker?

Saigon has a lot of live poker. However, due to the pandemic, many of the rooms have closed down. Some opened up again in 2022 and some new poker rooms opened up too. Cash games are still not fully legal in Vietnam, however, poker tournaments are often fully legal. 

In 2018, the Asia Poker Tour was the first organizer to host an international event in Vietnam at the Pro Poker Club in Saigon. Since then, many international poker events have been held in Saigon

Does Hanoi have poker?

Hanoi has many poker tournaments. As of 2023, Hanoi has the most live poker tournaments. In Hanoi, there are more than 3 major poker rooms. You can play live poker tournaments at the Grand Loyal Poker room, the Crown poker room and the VSOP poker room. There are small-stakes poker tournaments as well as medium stakes. Often these rooms host larger international series such as the WPT and the Asian Poker Tour. Cash-like games are also available in some of the poker rooms.

Does Danang have poker?

The Risemount Resort in Danang is quickly becoming a popular place for hosting large poker tournaments including the Asian Poker Tour and VSOP.  Due to the pandemic, many smaller poker rooms in Danang were closed down, but as of 2023 some are reopening. To find more poker in Danang, search Facebook pages or ask local Vietnamese poker players. Danang is a pleasant seaside tourist city that is worth a visit for playing poker. All major tournament series in Danang are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia.

Does Hong Kong have poker tournaments?

Hong Kong generally does not have live poker tournaments. Recently however, Hong Kong has hosted some tournaments such as Match Poker and AJPC. Tournaments are not run for cash prizes however. Hong Kongers typically travel to Macau, the Philippines or Vietnam to play live poker tournaments. Contact the HKPPA (Hong Kong Poker Players’ Association) for information.

Is poker legal in Hong Kong?

Poker is not legal in Hong Kong. Underground games exist in Hong Kong and they are lucrative. Again, you need to be invited and there are risks of police raids. Though, you’d mostly get a slap on the wrist if you’re a westerner and weren’t the one running the game. A lot of clubs get around this by doing a flat “room rental” charge or a minimum bar tab rather than a straight rake. There haven’t been any raids lately, so perhaps this little tweak has worked.

Does Macau have poker tournaments?

A few years ago, there was Pokerstars Live in Macau that hosted large live poker tournaments such as the APPT. However, as of 2022, there are no poker tournaments in Macau. However, there are poker cash games in Macau at the various casinos. 

What is the tax for poker in Macau?

Macau residents get tax-free winnings from poker rooms within its jurisdiction. Even professional players’ earnings from card games in Macau are not taxable. With Macau licensed casinos paying 55% of their revenue as game taxes, it makes sense that residents do not have to worry about the government getting a cut of their windfall.

Does Taiwan have poker tournaments?

Taiwan has many poker tournaments. As of 2023, Taipei has the most live poker tournaments. In Taiwan, there are more than 3 major poker rooms. The largest and most popular is Chinese Texas Holdem Poker (CTP), which has branches all over Taiwan. There are small-stakes poker tournaments as well as medium stakes. Often these rooms host larger international series such as the WPT and the Asian Poker Tour. All major tournament series in Taiwan are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia. Live poker tournaments are legal in Taiwan, however, cash games are strictly illegal, as of 2023.

What is the tax for poker in Taiwan?

There is no tax on live poker winnings in Taiwan. There is no tax on winnings on poker tournament winnings in Taiwan. This makes playing live poker in Taiwan more profitable. Buy-ins and payouts are handled in New Taiwan Dollars (NTD or TWD).

Does Taipei have poker tournaments?

Taipei has many poker tournaments. Taipei is a great destination to play live poker tournaments. In Taipei, there are more than 3 major poker rooms. The largest and most popular is Chinese Texas Holdem Poker (CTP), which also has branches all over Taiwan. There are small-stakes poker tournaments as well as medium stakes. CTP often hosts larger international series such as the WPT and the Asian Poker Tour. All major tournament series in Taipei are listed at www.pokercalendar.asia. Live poker tournaments are legal in Taiwan, however, cash games are strictly illegal, as of 2023.

Does Taiwan have cash poker games?

The Taiwan Government has legalized live poker tournaments and treats the game as a mind sport. However, cash poker games are strictly illegal and policed. Some cash-like poker games such as sit and goes operate in some rooms as do point-based games. You should understand you take on risks with the law if you play cash poker in Taiwan.

Does China have poker tournaments?

Before the 2020 pandemic, live tournament poker was growing rapidly in China. Some of the live tournaments had thousands of runners, however, the fields were largely local players and foreigners often required invitations. In 2019, China Poker Games delivered the biggest and live poker event in Asia with 3,132 main event entries and a prize pool of over US$ 4.1 million. The festival took place at the Howard Johnson Resort in Sanya, Hainan Island, China’s up and coming prime tourist beach destination. Hopefully in 2023 live tournament poker will surge again in China. Follow www.pokercalendar.asia for all major poker tournaments in China.

Is poker legal in India?

Poker is a game of skill and a mind sport, and it is legal in India. According to the Indian Public Gaming Act, games of mere skill are exempted from the act and are considered to be legal. Several Indian States, such as West Bengal, Karnataka, and Nagaland have specifically recognised poker as a game of skill.

Does India have poker tournaments?

Yes, India does host live poker tournaments, although tax on winnings is very high. Many Indians prefer to travel to other destinations to play live tournament poker, such as Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia and Korea.

What is the tax for poker in India?

Section 194B of the Income Tax Act in India requires the person responsible for paying to any person any income by way of winnings from any lottery, crossword puzzle, card game, or other game of any sort [including poker]  in an amount exceeding 10,000 shall, at the time of payment, deduct income tax at the rates in force (30% as of 2022).

Is poker and gambling taxed in India?

Winnings from the lottery, poker games, horse book, and even game shows are taxable if it exceeds RS 10,000. India residents are required to declare 30% of their winnings. Gambling losses are also not deductible from their tax returns, making it a concern among professional poker players. The lack of deductibles on their winnings and the flat rate of 30% taxes can obstruct any pro player’s career.

Fortunately, Indian residences have reported a loophole that states taxes only apply to single transactions. When a player withdraws less than RS 10,000 from card rooms or online sites, their winnings are tax-free. Serious poker players should still consider talking to a tax expert to know if a career in the card game is feasible in India.

Where can I find live poker in India?

Most of India has no legal casinos, however, Goa has seven casinos on land, as well as some offshore casinos. You can play poker at: Casino Pride, Casino Royale, Casino Carnivale, and Casino Goa. Sikkim state welcomes two land-based casinos where you can play poker: Casino Sikkam & Casino Mahjong. There are various large poker tournament series in India but taxes on winnings are high. Many Indian players travel to Asia to play live tournaments.

Does Australia have poker tournaments?

Australia has a huge amount of live poker tournaments. Australians love to play tournament poker, everything from social events, to community competition, nationwide leagues and international series. You can play live poker tournaments at community clubs, pubs and bars, RSL clubs, football clubs and of course at the major casinos such as the The Star in Sydney, The Star on the Gold Coast and the The Star in Brisbane. The famous Aussie Millions held in Melbourne has been paused since the pandemic (as of 2023). Other series held in Australia include the Australian Poker Tour (APT), WSOP circuits and the WPT. Live poker tournaments are legal in Australia and no tax is withheld on winnings.

What is the tax on poker winnings in Australia?

Australia has the most number of legal gamblers and poker players in the world, which is likely the result of tax-free winnings among residents of the country. Instead, the government is taxing the gambling operators within their jurisdiction. The exception is if you are considered a professional poker player (where poker income is your living) then you are required to report the winnings alongside your income and pay annual tax. There is no tax withheld by casinos or by poker rooms when you receive your payouts.

Does Thailand have poker?

Most gambling in Thailand is illegal. There is no legal live poker in Thailand at all and police often perform raids and arrests on underground poker games. There is no legal live poker tournaments in Thailand either.

Can I play live poker in Thailand?

You can probably find illegal underground poker games in Thailand. Most gambling in Thailand is illegal. There is no legal live poker in Thailand at all and police often perform raids and arrests on underground poker games. There is no legal live poker tournaments in Thailand either.

Where in Thailand can I find poker?

As of 2022, you cannot find any legal poker games in Thailand. Poker, and most other card games, are illegal and prohibited in Thailand.

Is poker legal in Thailand?

Poker is not legal in Thailand and police often raid illegal poker games. It is not recommended to play poker in Thailand even though underground games can be found.

Is poker allowed in Thailand?

Gambling, other than betting on horse races or the government-sponsored Thai lottery, is prohibited in Thailand. The prohibition dates back to the Gambling Act 1935. The Playing Cards Act prohibits private ownership of more than 120 playing cards without approval of the government.

Does Malaysia have poker?

There are 4 cities with gambling in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, and Genting Highlands. However, on Genting Highlands has live poker. Due to religious reasons, many citizens in Malaysia are not permitted to play poker or gamble. In March 2020, SkyCasino Gold Club inside Genting Casino, Genting Highlands opened a poker room with cash games. As of 2022, they also hold large poker tournament series under the Poker Dream brand. Follow www.pokercalendar.asia for all major poker tournaments in Malaysia.

Does Malaysia have poker tournaments?

As of 2023, the only live poker tournaments in Malaysia are in Genting Highlands under the brand Poker Dream. Follow www.pokercalendar.asia for all major poker tournaments in Malaysia.

Can I play live poker in Malaysia?

There are 4 cities with gambling in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, and Genting Highlands. However, on Genting Highlands has live poker. Due to religious reasons, many citizens in Malaysia are not permitted to play poker or gamble. In March 2020, SkyCasino Gold Club inside Genting Casino, Genting Highlands opened a poker room with cash games. As of 2022, they also hold large poker tournament series under the Poker Dream brand. Follow www.pokercalendar.asia for all major poker tournaments in Malaysia.

Can I play live poker in Japan?

Japan has nothing against poker as such. Their law prohibits gambling, i.e., staking real money to win real money in a game of chance. PokerStars have found a clever workaround for this problem with the Japan Open Poker Tour. It’s a series of tournaments taking place every year in Japan where winners pay real money to buy-in.

However, winners aren’t paid in cash. Instead, they’re given full packages (buy-in, travel, and accommodation) for other tournaments taking place outside of Japan. This is why there is a fair number of successful Japanese poker players often present at other poker events in Asia, like the APPT, ACOP, and the Macau Poker Cup.

Tournaments like the ones offered during the Japan Poker Tour provide opportunities for those looking to kick-start their poker careers. 

In some ways, these have certain advantages over money-awarding events because they push people to keep on playing, giving them opportunities for big scores.

Does Japan have poker tournaments?

Yes, Japan does have many live poker tournaments. However, the law prevents players from winning cash prizes. Nevertheless, poker tournaments are very popular in Japan and Japanese players are quickly gaining skill in the game. Many Japanese players travel to other parts of Asia to participate in live poker tournaments for cash prizes. They travel to Korea, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam for example.

Is poker legal in Japan?

In Japan, tournaments are allowed and there are tournaments all over. However, they are not allowed to give cash prizes for tournament winners. Instead, in Japan, the players receive packages of prizes such as phones, electronics or tickets and packages for poker tournaments in other countries such as Korea and the Philippines. Live tournament poker is very popular in Japan even with this restriction.

Japan has nothing against poker as such. Their law prohibits gambling, i.e., staking real money to win real money in a game of chance. So, you can organize a poker tournament, but you can’t offer cash prizes for the winners.

Japanese law disallows most forms of gambling except lottery, race betting, and pachinko. These legal games generate hundreds of billions of yen annually. But casinos and gaming venues with live poker or other person-to-person games are not legally recognized when they issue cash prizes.

Where can I play poker in Japan?

Japan has many clubs, bars and associations for playing live poker. Some are legal tournaments for non-cash prizes. Others are underground run privately or run by the Japanese mafia. To find games, it’s best to ask a person who can read Japanese to scour the web, where many poker games are listed in Japanese.

Is WPT poker in Asia?

Yes, WPT holds live poker tournaments across Asia. Check pokercalendar.asia to see all scheduled WPT events across Asia, Australia and New Zealand. WPT events are very popular in Asia with large prize pools and guarantees.

Is the World Poker Tour in Asia?

Yes, the World Poker Tour holds live poker tournaments across Asia. Check pokercalendar.asia to see all scheduled World Poker Tour events across Asia, Australia and New Zealand. World Poker Tour events are very popular in Asia with large prize pools and guarantees.

Is PokerStars in Asia?

PokerStars is a well-known brand in Asia, mostly due to online play. There is a PokerStars Live room in Okada casino that has cash games and tournaments. Previously there was a PokerStars Live room in Macau, but that has been closed down and is not open as of 2023.

Is WSOP poker in Asia?

As of 2022, WSOP does not have circuit events in Asia. However, WSOP do hold circuit events in Australia. Follow www.pokercalendar.asia for all major poker tournaments in Asia and Australia.

Is the World Series of Poker in Asia?

As of 2022, The World Series of Poker does not have circuit events in Asia. However, WSOP do hold circuit events in Australia. Follow www.pokercalendar.asia for all major poker tournaments in Asia and Australia.

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