Currency: Uruguayan Peso (UYU)
Casinos with Poker
- Enjoy Resort & Casino
- Delirio Poker Club
- Casino Carrasco
Uruguay is a small but wealthy country in South America.
They also have a healthy gambling economy in terms of revenue generated. Land casinos are legal there – worldcasinodirectory.com lists 17 licenced gambling houses in the country. However, unfortunately, the land based gambling is a state monopoly in the country.
The first gambling law Uruguayan history was passed in 1856. Modern games of chance were introduced to the natives by French immigrants.
The current state of online gambling is quite messy. For a long time, there was no proper regulatory and licencing framework set up. It was an unregulated market.
That changed in 2017 when the General Assembly passed the so-called “Accountability Law”, banning virtually any form of internet gambling – more on this later.
Despite the woes this new law brought to online poker players, live poker players have had some major events to look forward to in the country.
In 2018, the WSOP had some Circuit events in the small South American country. In 2020, the partypoker MILLIONS South America was held in Uruguay as well. Also, the Latin American Poker Tour has had stops in the country for years.
Famous Uruguayan Poker Players
Pablo Joaquin Melogno Cabrera tops Uruguay’s all time money list on Hendon with $2.272 million in live tournament earnings. In December 2018, he won a $2,500 NLHE WSOP Circuit event on his “home turf”, Uruguay. He got $505,606 for that victory which is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
In 2019, Melogno came very close to winning a WSOP bracelet. He lost heads-up for the title to Canadian poker pro Alan “Ari” Engel in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event. His runner-up finish earned him $264,104. In 2017, he made it in the money at the WSOP Main Event.
Fabrizio Gonzalez has $2.253 million in career earnings, a close second behind Melogno among Uruguayan players. In 2018, Gonzalez came in second in the £25,000 High Roller at the partypoker MILLIONS UK in London for £286,750. He also has a cash from the WSOP Main event – in 2012, he took a respectable 45th place for $191,646 in poker’s most famous tournament.
Furthermore, Gonzalez is an accomplished online poker player as well. He plays under the screen name “SixthSenSe19” on PokerStars and “Dr.Mikee” on partypoker. He has amassed over $7.740 million in online MTT winnings during his career.
– Playing Live Poker in Uruguay –
Live Poker Legislation in Uruguay
As we wrote in our intro, although land based gambling is legal in the country of Uruguay, it’s a state monopoly. They even have a governmental body called General Directorate of State Casinos. They are in charge of not only licencing and regulating casinos, they are also the ones operating them.
Live Poker Venues in Uruguay
The two major poker tournament series we talked about in or intro, the WSOP Circuit Uruguay in 2018 and the partypoker MILLIONS South America in 2020, were held at the same venue – the Enjoy Resort & Casino in the city of Punta del Este, right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It was formerly named Conrad Casino.
This casino has a poker room that is open year-round. On their website, they claim they’re hosting weekly poker tournaments. However, as of now, their tournament schedule is empty.
The Delirio Poker Club is located in the capital city of Montevideo. Casino Carrasco is also in the capital.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Uruguay –
Online Poker Legislation in Uruguay
For a long time, Uruguay was a safe haven for online poker players. There weren’t any rules or regulations in place – if you found an online poker room you liked, you had no trouble depositing and playing on it.
However, that all changed in September 2017. The Senate voted in favor of the Accountability Law which banned all the off-shore companies from hosting online games of chance for Uru players.
From that point onward only the company behind the national lottery has been permitted to offer internet gambling. If you wish to play online poker in Uruguay, your only legal choice would be UruPoker.net. While this online poker’s status is similar to live poker, the choice is a lot more scarce and thus the action is low volume.
With the introduction of the new law, the government also blacklisted the URL’s of all the major gambling sites, including poker rooms.
However, the only big online poker room that restricts Uruguayan players themselves is partypoker. That means if you feel a little bit tricky, you can circumvent the government ban with a VPN and continue playing on your favorite site.