Currency: New Taiwan dollar (NT$)
For a good few years now, poker in Taiwan has been growing ever-so-slowly. Today, there are quite a number of poker rooms scattered all over the country. Similar to the laws in China and Vietnam, cash games are illegal while tournament poker is alive and well. Players can find a tournament everyday and get paid in actual cash. The rooms are open to both locals and foreigners.
The last half of 2018 saw a rise in attendance of foreign players with international events entering the market. The world-renowned Global Poker Index (GPI) also hosted an event with its second Global Poker League China series held in Taipei. Since then, the World Poker Tour followed suit.
Due to the strict regulation of no cash games, law enforcers frequent the poker rooms almost daily. Routine ID checks may come as a shock to players experiencing this for the first time, however, this is directed more towards Taiwanese players. In the event you are spot checked, just present your passport.
– Playing Live Poker in Taiwan –
Live Poker Legislation in Taiwan
Gambling in Taiwan is prohibited by the Criminal Code of the Republic of China. As a result, only state-run lotteries, like the Uniform Invoice lottery, are legal on mainland Taiwan.
Taiwan islands, however, are subject to different regulations. In 2009, amendments to the Offshore Islands Development Act legalized the establishment of casinos on the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu, though none have been built since then.
The solution for poker players in Taiwan came, as for many countries in Asia, in the form of tournaments, while cash games still being strictly prohibited.
Indeed, the penalty for social gambling in public in Taiwan is a fine of up to NT$4600, with the confiscation of any cash found on the premises. However, some games are allowed on special days or under special restricted circumstances.
If you are hosting gambling games in your home, or wagering for high stakes, you are facing a fine of around NT$13,800 and up to 3 years in prison.
Finally, if you are found to be gambling professionally in Taiwan, you could face a sentence of 2 years in prison (or 6 months for agents).
Live Poker Venues in Taiwan
With no casinos existing in Taiwan yet, the poker scene has emerged in bars offering non-cash prize poker tournaments, and more recently in dedicated poker rooms or clubs following the same logic, the most famous one being the Chinese Texas Holdem Poker Association.
To this day, only a few of those rooms exist, but as for Japan or even Vietnam, their number is expected to grow in the next few years, the Taiwanese being known to enjoy games and gambling in general.
Gambling parlors also welcome players to gamble and receive tokens, provided that money is not won. However, tokens can often be exchanged for cash in discreet locations, but this doing is of course absolutely illegal. This is how most of the underground gambling is run in Taiwan, aside from home games.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Taiwan –
– Play Online Poker in Taiwan –
Online Poker Legislation in Taiwan
Contrary to other countries, there is no blocking of poker websites in Taiwan.
Taiwanese authorities are on the look for gambling sites operated within their territory, going as far as cooperating with China to bring them down. So even though they are going after operators and not players, it is best to stay away from Taiwan-based poker sites if you ever come across one.
The Golden Cruise Casino got busted on such grounds, as tickets were sold in Taiwanese convenience stores only to be used as credits online.
Established foreign-based online poker sites are thus a much better choice.
Taiwan is still a long way away from regulating online poker, but playing there should not be a problem.
– Recommended Online Poker Rooms in Taiwan –
– News from Taiwan –