Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
Time Zone: UTC+5:45
Casinos with Poker
- Casino Pride Nepal
- Casino Mahjong
- Casino Rand
- The Millionaire’s Club & Casino
Nepal, a mountainous country in East Asia, is known to many for being the only country on earth with a flag that is not rectangle-shaped. However, what many may not know is that it actually has one of the major gambling centers in Asia. It’s Kathmandu, the capital city, with around 1 million residents.
Kathmandu has 9 casinos, according to Worldcasinodirectory.com. Out of the 9, Casino Pride Nepal is the largest one. However, the locals are forbidden to play any games of chance – only foreign tourists are allowed to do that. With this, Nepal follows the model set by some majority-Muslim North African nations, such as Egypt or Tunisia. Most of the Nepalese casinos’ traffic comes from neighboring India.
The government is serious about enforcing the gambling prohibition for its citizens. According to the country profile on Simonsblogpark.com, if a Nepalese citizen gets caught gambling it up in a land casino, repeat offenders will face jail time, while first time offenders can expect a hefty fine. Thankfully, the authorities are a lot less gung ho when it comes to online gambling.
As for poker, 4 of the 9 Kathmandu casinos have poker rooms, referring to the same website’s numbers. Out of those 4, the Casino Mahjong poker room is the most prominent one, having hosted the country’s first ever cash game festival in January 2020.
Famous Nepalese Poker Players
The Hendon Mob doesn’t have a Nepalese all time money list. In fact, they don’t even have a single Nepalese player listed on their website.
To be precise, Bibek Karki’s profile is available in their database – he’s listed as an Indian player with his residency listed as “Nepal, India”. Evidently, there is no such town in India. Karki is a Nepalese player, the website simply doesn’t have that category for country.
Karki has $16,134 in live tournament earnings. In November 2017, he came in 13th in the ₹55,000 WPTDeepStacks event at WPT India for ₹301,500 ($4,626). That is the biggest live tournament cash of his career to date.
As for online poker, a player who plays under the screen name “tooothy” on PokerStars with Nepal as his location has cashed for a little over $60,000 in online MTT’s.
– Playing Live Poker in Nepal –
Live Poker Legislation in Nepal
As we wrote in our intro, gambling is prohibited for Nepalese nationals in the country. The piece of legislation declaring the prohibition is the 1963 Gambling Act. You can read the full English version on the Nepal Law Commission’s website.
This piece of legislation says nothing about the exemptions for tourists (only for people who report themselves to the police and are willing to be a witness against other people). The foreign visitor exemption came with the passing of the 2018 Tourism Act.
Live Poker Venues in Nepal
The largest casino in Nepal, Casino Pride Nepal in the capital city of Kathmandu, does have a running poker room. We know that from the Google Reviews posted about their venue. However, no information is available about their game selection on their website. They haven’t answered our inquiry via Facebook messages either.
Casino Mahjong, also in Kathmandu, hosted Nepal’s first ever cash game festival, organized by the Indian online poker room Poker Magnet. It took place in January 2020. The tables ran on NPR100/200 ($0.85/$1.70), NPR200/400 ($1.70/$3.40), and NPR500/500 ($4.25) stakes. Thanks to the success of the original installment, the cash fest returned in March 2020 with No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha games as well.
You can find a poker room at Casino Rad and The Millionaire’s Club & Casino, both in Kathmandu. As you can tell, all the gambling action is concentrated in the capital city. Outside the city, live poker action is virtually impossible to find.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Nepal –
Casino Pride Nepal
The Millionaire's Club & Casino
– Online Poker in Nepal –
Online poker is illegal in Nepal. The 1963 Gambling Act doesn’t distinguish between live and online games of chance, they’re all prohibited.
However, as Simonsblogpark.com writes, the government isn’t nearly as eager to crack down on online gambling as live gambling. No foreign gambling site’s URL is blocked and no online poker players are prosecuted. The biggest hurdle is some Nepalese banks refusing to process payments to and from gambling sites, but that can be circumvented by using e-wallets like Neteller or Skrill.
The only significant poker room that restricts players from Nepal is Guts Poker. All the other big foreign sites, such as PokerStars, partypoker, Unibet or Natural8-GGNetwork are available for Nepalese players.
– News from Nepal –