Currency: Euro (€)
Casinos with Poker
- Olympic Casino Bratislava
- Olympic Casino Eurovea
- Hollywood Poker Club
- Monte Carlo Poker Club
- Banco Casino
Slovakia, as part of the former state of Czechoslovakia, was part of the Communist block for a long time in the last century. During that time gambling was outlawed.
Before that, in the 19th century, horse racing was a popular form of gambling and entertainment. Bratislava’s Hippodrome, built in 1868, still hosts races to date.
Poker and any other forms of gambling are moderately popular. The World Casino Directory website lists 22 operating casinos in the country. That is not a huge number – compare that to the neighboring Czech Republic’s 175. It’s not a lot despite the fact that both land-based gambling is fully legal, and private companies can acquire land casino licences too.
And recently, even more gambling-friendly legislation has been passed regarding online gambling. In early 2019, the Slovakian Parliament overrode the president’s veto and passed a law allowing companies from the EU to apply for online gambling licences as well.
Famous Slovakian Poker Players
In 2016, Jan Bendik won the €5,000 European Poker Tour Main Event in Monte Carlo for €961,800. Overall, he has $3.517 million in live tournament earnings to his name. That puts him on the number1 spot on the Slovakian all time money list on the famous Hendon Mob website.
Second on that list is Marek Blasko with $1.215 million. His biggest claim to fame is winning the €1,000 Main Event at the German Championship of Poker, taking home €62,230 with that victory. He’s also won a €1,000 partypoker MILLIONS Germany event for €31,135. Somewhat oddly, both of those German tournament series were held in the Czech casino town of Rozvadov, right by the German border.
On the virtual felt, Tomas “masur0n1ke” Kubaliak has amassed $1.645 million in online MTT winnings, more than any other Slovakian player ever.
Dag Palovic is a former PokerStars Team Pro member. He’s best known for making a deep run in the 2010 WSOP Main Event, eventually finishing in 37th place for $206,395.
– Playing Live Poker in Slovakia –
Live Poker Legislation in Slovakia
Like in many other Eastern European countries, gambling licencing and regulation is under the purview of the Ministry of Finance. Also as standard, the country’s Tax Office is providing oversight.
Live Poker Venue Slovakia
The casino chain Olympic has 5 different venues in Slovakia that operate poker rooms.
In Olympic Casino Bratislava, Carlton, you can find No Limit Hold’em cash tables running on €1/€2 and €2/€5 stakes.
As for tournaments, strangely, the only event with a buy-in they have on their schedule is a €14 tournament on a Monday. However, they do host “Satellite to Cash” events multiple times a week. These strange tournaments apparently allow you to win cash game chips and they are free to enter – however, rebuys cost €3 and you can buy add-on chips for €5.
In other Olympic Casinos, you can find more classic poker tournaments. There’s even events where you can enter for as little as €3. Most tournaments have €20 buy-ins, while the biggest event is a €40 tourney in the Olympic Casino Eurovea in Bratislava. So if you’re a high roller looking for some serious tournament action, you might have to look elsewhere.
The other Olympic Casinos are located in Kosice, Zilina and Trnava.
The tourney selection in any other poker room, be it the Hollywood Poker Club in Nitra-Zobor, or the Monte Carlo Poker Club in Kosice, is all packed with small stakes events – buy-ins range between €15 and €30 with virtually no exceptions.
If you wish to play some bigger events, your best chance is the Slovak Series of Poker held at the Banco Casino in Bratislava. There, you can choose to buy in for a €220 Main Event or even a €525 High Roller.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Slovakia –
Olympic Casino Bratislava
Olympic Casino Eurovea
Hollywood Poker Club
Monte Carlo Poker Club
Online Poker Legislation in Slovakia
Unlike in land based gambling, no foreign company can apply for online gambling licences. Therefore only the state-owned gambling company TIPOS can offer games of chance on the internet in Slovakia.
However, change may be very near. As we wrote in our intro, the Parliament overrode the president’s veto and passed a law allowing companies from other EU member countries to apply for online gambling licences.