Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Casinos with Poker
Gambling is restricted in Vietnam. A government resolution allows Vietnamese aged 21 or older with a good legal and financial record to enter casinos since December 2017, but they are limited to a number of places. Moreover, Vietnamese are also allowed to play the lottery or bet at the horse racing track in Ho Chi Minh City.
Poker is legal in Vietnam. The Ministry of Home Affairs has licensed a Bridge and Poker Association, and many cities and provinces have established their own clubs. But in this context, poker cash games are generally prohibited. However, many poker rooms have opened in recent years in Vietnam, basing their business model on tournaments.
Vietnam has produced a very nice roster of Viet Kieu professional poker players (people of Vietnamese descent who were born or lived overseas) such as 1998 WSOP Main Event champion Scotty Nguyen, Men “The Master” Nguyen, 2016 WSOP Main Event champion Qui Nguyen; as well as many others, including a lot of good online players as well.
– Vietnam Poker Video Guide –
– Playing Live Poker in Vietnam –
Live Poker Legislation in Vietnam
The laws of Vietnam are based upon the stakes (Article 248 and 249 of the Penal Code), with the first level concerning very small stakes and social gambling, which carries a punishment of a small fine and being essentially put on probation.
Being caught winning or losing between 2 million and 50 million VND (about $90 to about $2200) involves a more serious crime, where the fines go up, the probation is longer, and there is also a risk of jail time. Those sentenced to this must report to the relevant authorities as instructed. They must also remain in their district and report any change of residence and employment.
The third level is for those who have won or lost over 50 million VND (about $2200). There is a minimum of three years in prison for this one which can be extended to up to seven years, in addition to being fined 3 million to 30 million VND. This also applies if you are a professional gambler or have been found to be operating a gambling establishment.
Then again, these laws apply to cash games as well. More and more tournaments are taking place on a daily basis in Vietnam, especially in its major cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, not to mention international competitions such as the Asian Poker Tour, the Asia Poker League, and the World Poker Tour. Locals can participate in all these events now.
Live Poker Venues in Vietnam
You can find live poker in poker rooms & clubs throughout the country, but officially only as tournaments. Cash games remain illegal in the country. Clubs that do not respect this rule face serious consequences; with some having been raided by the police, catching both foreigners and nationals red-handed.
In 2018, the Asia Poker Tour was the first event organizer to host an international event in Vietnam that locals were allowed to join. The venue was the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh City.
Currently, the biggest live poker events still mainly take place at the same place, in Ho Chi Minh City at the Pro Poker Club. This venue has so far been the central point of this development with international poker festivals running almost every month.
However, other international events also started running in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Nha Trang.
In June 2020, ironically in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the LUK Poker Room Phu Quoc in the Corona Resort Phu Quoc was opened at the first official poker venue where Vietnamese could play cash games.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Vietnam –
Pro Poker Club
Airport Poker Club
Crown Poker Club
Diamond Bridge Poker Club
Imperial Poker Club
Khanh Pokerface Bridge & Poker Club
Grand Loyal Poker Club Hanoi
Thai Nguyen Poker Club
Victorious Poker Club
Vstar Poker Club
WIN Poker Club Danang
WIN Poker Club Hanoi
LUK Poker Room Phu Quoc
– News from Vietnam –