Currency: Paraguayan Guaraní (PYG)
Casinos with Poker
- Casino de Asunción
- Par de Ases
- Casino Carnaval
The first casino opened in 1943 in Paraguay. Since then, almost all forms of gambling, even cockfighting, have been legal in the country. The legal landscape is great for casino owners.
Despite that, only a modest 18 casinos are in operation there, according to worldcasinodirectory.com. It’s way worse for poker players – the same website claims that there’s only 2 poker tables running in the whole country!
Perhaps that’s the reason why Paraguay hasn’t hosted any major poker festivals or tournament series yet.
If you’re into slot machines, however, you’ll have an easier time finding action as there are several small “slot machine halls” scattered around the small South American nation.
While licenced gambling is legal, the Paraguayan government is known for aggressively cracking down on black market gambling. This holds true for land based and online casinos as well. So if you’re ever in Paraguay looking to get into some underground game, keep that in mind.
Famous Paraguayan Poker Players
Paraguay hasn’t had any breakout poker stars yet.
In fact, their current number 1 live tournament player is sitting on top of the Paraguayan all time money list on Hendon with just $500,000 in career earnings. While that is a respectable sum for an individual, most countries’ top players have earned way more than that.
Their top live tournament pro with $500K in winnings is Horacio Chaves Cortes. In November 2011, he came in 5th in the $2,500 Main Event at the Conrad Poker Tour in Punta del Este, Uruguay for $112,000. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
Cortes has cashed in the most prestigious poker tournament, the WSOP Main Event, three times: in 2014, 2017, and 2019. His highest ITM finish is from 2014, when he finished 176th out of 6,683 entrants for $44,728.
Raúl Doutrelau has cashed for $453,706 in live tournaments during his career. His biggest score is $112,000 from May 2018. He won a $5,000 NLHE high roller in Argentina.
Paraguayans don’t have a star player in online poker either. The most successful MTT player is Carlos Saguier. He plays under the screen name “Carloss86” on PokerStars and “Carloss86py” on partypoker. He has amassed $780,000 in online poker tournament winnings.
In March 2020, he played in the 14th anniversary special Sunday MILLION on PokerStars which had over 93,000 (!) players registering. In that ginormous field, he managed to take 83rd place, which meant he turned his $215 buy-in into $10,911.
– Playing Live Poker in Paraguay –
Live Poker Legislation in Paraguay
As we wrote in our intro, land based has been legal in Paraguay since the 1940’s. The gaming legislation in effect today was passed in 1997.
Licencing and regulation are handled by the National Gambling Commission, aka CONAJZAR. They are a part of Paraguay’s Ministry of Finance.
Live Poker Venues in Paraguay
Paraguay’s biggest casino, Casino de Asunción in the capital city of Asunción, has a poker room. Although they don’t share any information about their poker room beside the rules of No Limit Hold’em, the room does have its own Facebook page.
They only host a couple of tournaments each month. Their End of the Month event has a PGN300,000 ($46.50) buy-in and a PGN10,000,000 ($1,550) GTD prize pool. It’s a big event with two Day1’s and a Day2 as well.
The Par de Ases (Pair of Aces) poker & slot machine room is another venue where you can play cards in Asunción. Casino Carnaval in the city of Encarnación also has a poker room.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Paraguay –
Online Poker Legislation in Paraguay
Online gambling, just like land based gambling, is under the authority CONAJZAR, the National Gambling Commission in Paraguay.
This government body tried to bring about a state monopoly in the online sports betting market in the country. While the exclusive licence was granted to aposta.la in a controversial tender, the plan still didn’t work perfectly.
As an article on calvinayre.com reported, the head of CONAJZAR complained in November 2019 that the state-ran gambling site wasn’t bringing in enough money to the treasury, only around $4 million annually. He blamed the black market competition for that.
Aposta.la offers sports betting, bingo and casino games – however, not online poker.
This is important, because that means that the Paraguayan government is a lot laxer when it comes to foreign poker sites, as opposed to sports betting sites.
All major poker rooms on the internet, such as PokerStars, Natural8, partypoker, 888 and more, are available for the people of Paraguay to play on.