Poker in Andorra

Introduction

Population: 77,265

Capital: Andorra la Vella

Currency: Euro (€)

Time Zone: UTC

Casinos with Poker

  • Casino on Carrer Prat de la Creu (NOT YET OPEN)

Andorra is a small country in the Pyrenees, located between France and Spain. While both land based and online gambling is legal, they do not have any land casinos open – yet.

Simon’s Online Casino Gambling Blog describes the unfortunate situation as such. Between 1996 and 2012, bingo was the only legal game of chance in the small country. With the new 2018 legislation, commercial casinos got the green light from the government as well. One of the bingo operators applied for a licence to open one. It seemed as though the company Jocs S.A. would get the permit, making way for Andora’s very first casino. However, the gambling regulator ultimately decided against it.

Again, however, there was yet another twist in the story. After a rather lengthy legal battle, they did manage to win themselves the licence. So, if the pandemic is sufficiently contained, the brand new casino on Andorra at Prat de la Creu will open in 2022.

As of now, there is no place for local poker players to enjoy some live poker action. That is not true for online poker, though. All the major poker sites are legal in Andorra. In fact, you can habitually see some Andorran players run deep in big GGPoker events.

A similarly sized microstate on the other end of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar (which is technically a British Overseas Territory), is actually a hotbed for online gambling companies. This is due to their relaxed tax and licencing regulations on gaming. However, Andorra is far from that. In fact, their online gambling market is completely unregulated as of now – but also completely legal.

Famous Andorran Poker Players

Since the country’s population is so tiny, Hendon doesn’t even have a specific Andorran all time money list. However, they do have a total of 31 Andorran players listed in their database. Out of that 31, the one with the most in live tournament cashes is a man named Ignacio Molina.

He has $244,058 in live tournament earnings. His biggest live score to date is $154,700, which he got for finishing second in the $1,700 No Limit Hold’em – GOLIATH Main Event at the Goliath Phamous Poker Series in Las Vegas in July 2019.

The second among the Andorran players is Zamorano Saez with $180,680 in live tournament winnings. He amassed that sum by winning a single €800 NLHE event in Cyprus back in November 2019.

As we wrote in our intro, Andorran players tend to be more successful in online poker than in live poker. A player playing under the screen name “MonsieurRask” on PokerStars, “jarumen” on partypoker, and “JeeyTy” on Natural8-GGNetwork has cashed for over $2.2 million in online MTT’s during his career. In September 2016, he took down a $1,050 WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) NLHE event for $225,754 on Stars.

Also from Andorra, “Hightroler” on GGPoker has $1.760 million in online tournament cashes.

 

– Playing Live Poker in Andorra –

   Live Poker Legislation in Andorra

Licencing and regulation of gambling establishments in the country are under the purview of the El Consell Regulador Andorrà del Joc (CRAJ for short). You can visit their website here.

There, they list all the relevant gambling laws under the “LEGISLACIÓ” tab on their top menu bar. Namely, four: one from 2012 (which we mentioned in our intro, legalizing casino gambling), and three others from 2014, from 2018, and the latest from 2021. You can read the full texts of all of these pieces of legislation in the country’s official language, Catalan.

Live Poker Venues in Andorra

As we wrote in our intro, Andorra doesn’t have any land based casinos in operation yet.

The first proposed project, not yet officially named (possibly named Casino at Andorra), will be located on Carrer Prat de la Creu in the capital city of Andorra la Vella. It is expected to open by the end of 2022.

 

– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Andorra –

Casino on Carrer Prat de la Creu

  Online Poker in Andorra

The online gambling market remains unregulated in Andorra, despite multiple previous efforts to regulate and tax it. One big issue is the country’s small population. They could never support a segregated market. If Andorra does manage to regulate their online poker sites, it’ll most likely be part of the European shared liquidity market along with France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. However, that is just pure speculation at this point.

In the meantime, it’s all good for Andorran poker players. They can play on any of the major international poker sites, be it partypoker, Natural8-GGNetwork, or Unibet, without worrying about any kind of legal issue.