Capital: Santo Domingo
Currency: Dominican Peso (DOP)
Time Zone: UTC-4
Casinos with Poker
- The Level at Meliá Caribe Tropical
- Punta Cana Poker Club
- Hard Rock Punta Cana Hotel & Casino
- Casino Hispaniola
The Dominican Republic is a great place for gamblers.
The third most populous Caribbean nation (behind Cuba and Haiti) has a fully legal and regulated gambling industry – both live and online. Worldcasinodirectory.com lists 35 licenced casinos in the country, which is quite a lot proportionate to their population of just over 10 million.
Since the Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination, most of its casinos are inside beautiful ocean-side resorts, targeting the people visiting from abroad.
Unfortunately, the choice for poker players isn’t nearly as numerous as it is for “generic” gamblers. Most of these gambling hubs focus on typical casino games which you play against the house, such as blackjack, roulette, or slots. Pokerdiscover.com only lists 5 running poker rooms in the country.
Despite that, the Dominican Republic has hosted a high-profile poker event in the past. In November 2017, the partypoker LIVE Caribbean Poker Party was held in Punta Cana. However, the next year, partypoker chose the Bahamas as the location for their live series – just like PokerStars has always done with their Caribbean Adventures.
Famous Dominican Poker Players
The Dominican Republic doesn’t actually have an all time money list on Hendon, unlike most other countries. That is despite the fact that they track the results of 178 players from this country. Instead of ranking them by their career earnings, however, they list them by their number of cashes for some reason.
That list is topped by Mario Concepcion. He’s cashed in 32 different live events during his career, for $170,338 combined. In September 2016, he came in 3rd in the $450 NLHE Alighty Stack event at the WPT Borgata Poker Open for $71,760. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
Francis Cruz, playing from the Dominican Republic under the screen names “NoHayMiedo*” on PokerStars and “ImFranC” on 888Poker, has cashed for $1.975 million in online MTT’s. On the live felt, he has an additional $81,655 in tournament winnings.
– Playing Live Poker in the Dominican Republic –
Live Poker Legislation in the Dominican Republic
Casino gambling, including live poker, became legal in the country in 1999 when Law 351 was enacted. This wasn’t a law passed, it was a presidential decree. Sports betting was only made legal many years after, in 2006.
The local gambling authority is called Dirección de Casinos y Juegos de Azar (Directorate of Casinos and Gaming). Licencing and regulation are under their purview. They’re a part of the Dominican Ministry of Finance.
Live Poker Venues in the Dominican Republic
The partypoker LIVE Caribbean Poker Party – which we mentioned in our intro – was held at The Level at Meliá Caribe Tropical in the coastal city of Punta Cana. They had events with buy-ins from $550 up to a $25,000 Super High Roller which was won by the American Chris Hunichen for $400,000.
This resort does have a year-round casino. However, their main profile is an “adult-only” hotel, so no information is available on their website about their game selection.
The Punta Cana Poker Club, however, lists all you need to know about their poker games. In their cash room, they have $2/$5 No Limit Hold’em and $2/$5 Pot Limit Omaha tables running from 9 PM every night. They also have a real novelty: a $2/$4 Crazy Pineapple Poker table.
On top of their cash games, they host $60 NLHE Turbo tournaments on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
You can also find some poker action at the Hard Rock Punta Cana Hotel & Casino, or at Casino Hispaniola in the capital city of Santo Domingo.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in the Dominican Republic –
The Level at Meliá Caribe Tropical
Punta Cana Poker Club
Hard Rock Punta Cana Hotel & Casino
Online Poker in the Dominican Republic
Online gambling became officially legal in the Dominican Republic in 2006, along with sports betting. Since then, just like with land-based gambling, the Dirección de Casinos y Juegos de Azar handles the licencing and regulation.
The first company to gain a Dominican online gaming licence was the Amaya Gaming Group, now known as Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars. Since then, many other major poker sites, such as partypoker, 888, or Americas Cardroom (ACR) have entered the Dominican market. Online poker is very popular in this Caribbean island nation.