Currency: Serbian Dinar (RSD)
Casinos with Poker
- Grand Casino Beograd
- Slot Club Apex Ruski Car
Live poker, or land based gambling in general, is restricted to the capital city, Belgrade. That is the only city with legal casinos and poker rooms. This is despite the fact that Serbians tend to be betting men who often would turn to the black market to gamble a bit, even during the time of Communist Yugoslavia.
The size of the gambling black market grew so big in Yugoslavia that, in response, the government legalized games of chance in 1964. They were the only country in the Communist bloc to do so.
After Serbia’s 1992 independence, the locals enjoyed total freedom in online gambling up until a law passed in 2011 – more on that later.
So while there is a great deal of interest for gambling in the country, opportunities are limited. This is why the best known Serbian poker players made their success outside of their home country, typically the United States.
Famous Serbian Poker Players
Nenad Medić from the town of Apatin went to a university in Canada through a basketball scholarship. That is where he got introduced to poker. His live tournament earnings now exceed $4.6 million. He also has a WSOP gold bracelet from the 2008 $10K Pot Limit Hold’em championship for which he got $794,112. He also has 14 other cashes at the World Series. In addition, he won a $10K World Poker Tour event for $1,717,194 in 2006.
On Hendon’s Serbian all time money list, Andjelko Andrejevic occupies the number 1 spot with $3.75 million. Evidently, Medić’s $4.6 million in winnings is more, but he is included on the Canadian list.
In 2015, Andrejevic finished 1st in a HK$500,000 Asia Pacific Poker Tour high roller held in Macau. He earned no less than $1,125,722 with that victory. He also has 9 WSOP cashes for a total of $168,668.
A player from Serbia who plays under the screen name “nomalice” on PokerStars has won over $446,000 on online MTT’s across multiple poker sites. No player from the country has won more on online tournaments.
– Playing Live Poker in Serbia –
Live Poker Legislation in Serbia
Gambling has been legal in the region since the Yugoslavian government passed the Gambling Act of 1964. Before that, and since, black market gambling was prominent.
In the 21st Century, the Serbian legislature passed two laws that regulate gambling, the 2004 Games of Chance Act and the 2012 New Games of Chance Act. The latter has more to do with online gambling. The former sets up the legal framework to obtain a gambling licence from the Ministry of Finance and Economy. Also, it proposes punishment for people running illegal gambling houses – an issue that is still prominent today. Police raids are frequent.
Live Poker Venues in Serbia
As we wrote in the beginning, all three casinos are located in the capital city, Belgrade. Out of those, only 2 have poker rooms with a mere 7 tables running combined.
Grand Casino Beograd offers their patrons Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em cash tables. The Hold’em stakes range from RSD100/100 ($0.95/$0.95) and RSD100/200 ($0.95/$1.90) up to RSD2,500/5,000 ($23.65/$47.30). The Omaha stakes start at RSD100/100 and RSD100/200 just like Hold’em, but only go up to RSD200/500 ($1.89/$4.73).
As for tournaments, they have one or two events on the schedule on any given day. The lowest non-satellite event is a RSD7,000 ($66.20) bounty tournament. Their biggest buy-in event on their regular schedule is RSD11,000 ($104.05). However, they hosted the Danube Poker Masters tournament series in May 2019 in which they had a RSD66,000 ($624.30) Main Event.
The only other venue where you can find legal poker tables is the Slot Club Apex Ruski Car poker room, according to the usually reliable worldcasinodirectory.com. However, there’s no additional info about this poker club online. Also, at the address the website lists for the place there’s an “environmental consulting & services” office, according to Google.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Serbia –
Grand Casino Beograd
Slot Club Apex Ruski Car
Online Poker Legislation in Serbia
Up until the 2012 New Games of Chance Act was passed by the National Assembly, any Serbian player could play legally on any poker site available on the internet. The companies didn’t even have to apply for a Serbian licence.
Nowadays, however, a Serbian licence is needed if one wants to offer online gambling services in the country. Part of the requirement is that the servers on which the players play need to be actually located in Serbia. It seems all the biggest rooms complied, since PokerStars, partypoker, America’s Cardroom and others are all available for Serbian players. Unlicenced sites are blacklisted.