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Poker in Liechtenstein

Introduction

Population: 38,378

Capital: Vaduz

Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

Time Zone: UTC+1

Casinos with Poker

  • Grand Casino Liechtenstein
  • Casino Admiral Ruggel
  • Casino Schaanwald

Liechtenstein is one of the smallest independent countries in Europe, by population. They’re only ahead of Vatican City and San Marino. However, they are also the most affluent one – by per capita GDP.

Also, they have legal gambling, both live and online. As for land based gambling, Worldcasinodirectory.com lists 4 casinos in the country. That is not bad for a population of just under 40,000. In fact, that rate is better than in Las Vegas, Macau or Monaco.

The same website claims that two of them have poker rooms running. However, for some reason, they failed to list Grand Casino Liechtenstein in the town of Gamprin, perhaps the most prominent gambling hub in the country with a major poker room.

In addition, these casinos are heavily benefitting from rich tourists visiting from neighboring Switzerland. In recent years, they’ve even experienced a gambling boom. 3 of the country’s 5 casinos opened in the last two years. Some in the financial industry have expressed fear the the high casino per person rate will badly affect the reputation of Liechtenstein, one of the best known centers for the financial services sector in Europe. Truth is, that reputation has already been somewhat tarnished by a 2019 tax evasion scandal. It was exposed by a German newspaper that many high profile figures hide money in Liechtenstein banks to avoid paying taxes in their home countries.

Famous Liechtensteiner Poker Players

The live poker tournament tracking website Hendon Mob lists a total of 9 players from Liechtenstein in their database. It’s not surprising given the country’s low population.

Out of those 9 players, Philipp Meier tops the list in both live tournament earnings and number of ITM finishes. He has cashed for $27,409 in total in 10 different tournaments. In May 2014, he took down the €1,000 No Limit Hold’em – Buddy Poker Team Cup event at the Casinos Austria Poker Tour in Bregenz, Austria for €8,220. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.

 

– Playing Live Poker in Liechtenstein –

   Live Poker Legislation in Liechtenstein

Gambling became legal in Liechtenstein in 2010, when the Geldspielgesetz (GSG for short; Gambling Law in English) was passed by the Landtag of Liechtenstein.

In order to legally operate a gambling business in the country, a company must apply for a licence from the Liechtenstein Government. The licences expire every 5 years.

Live Poker Venues in Liechtenstein

At Grand Casino Liechtenstein, in the town of Gamprin, you can play No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha cash games. The blinds at the NLHE tables start at CHF1/3 ($1.11/$3.33); while at the PLO tables, the blinds start at CHF2/5 ($2.22/$5.55).

In the past, they’ve hosted tournament series such as the Liechtenstein Poker Cup and the Liechtenstein Poker Series. At the former, the buy-ins ranged between CHF220 ($245) and CHF330 ($368).

When it comes to year-round tourney action, their poker room puts on 3-4 events a week. The game is either NLHE or PLO, with buy-ins from around CHF100 ($111) up to CHF300 ($333). They’ve held multi-day events in the past as well.

At Casino Admiral Ruggel in the town of Ruggel, there’s also a poker room running. Games start every day at 6 PM. They offer both cash games and tournaments, in “all common game variants”, as their website puts it. However, there isn’t any mention about cash game stakes or tournament buy-ins. To find out more, you need contact them by phone at +423 377 44 78.

Casino Schaanwald is the only other casino in Liechtenstein with poker in their game selection. However, they only offer Ultimate Texas Hold’em, a version of the game that you play against the house, alas.

– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Liechtenstein –

Grand Casino Liechtenstein

Casino Admiral Ruggel

Casino Schaanwald

  Online Poker in Liechtenstein

Online gambling, including poker, is completely legal in Liechtenstein.

The same piece of 2010 legislation governs land based and live poker as well. Tchnically, foreign gambling sites too should apply for Liechtenstein licences. However, so far, they’ve only given out one licence, to the International Lottery in Liechtenstein Foundation.

This was a charitable fund that used to run online lotteries in the country. However, they ceased operation in September 2011 after going bankrupt.

Despite that, none of the major poker sites are blocked by the government; nor do these sites restrict players from the region. So, all the Liechtensteiners can play in any online poker room they wish, be it PokerStars, partypoker, or Natural8-GGNetwork, without any reasonale fear of legal repercussions.