Venezuela is well known for its vast oil reserves, which are the largest in the world, eclipsing Saudi Arabia a few years ago. They are only 11th as far as oil production goes, behind even Mexico, and produce only a quarter of what Saudi Arabia does per year, so they haven’t brought things up to anywhere near full capacity yet. (1)
Oil production does dominate their economy though, although this has worsened the level of corruption in the country, something they were already famous for prior to the oil boom. They sit in fourth place in South America in terms of both total GDP and per capita GDP, although they may lead in both categories eventually as their resources become more developed.
Venezuela does have legal gambling, like most countries in South America, but this is also less developed than in some other countries on the continent. They do have 5 land based casinos in the country, which is a decent amount for a country this size but not so much compared to the leading countries in South America, and the size of them combined isn’t all that impressive either, with only 83 gaming tables and 422 slot machines in the country. (2)
Aside from that, access to land based gambling is pretty limited, to horse racing, bingo halls and the lottery. Horse racing is particularly popular here, and there are four horseracing tracks in Venezuela , one in each of the four major cities, where bets may be placed on the races.
Venezuelans also have access to land based sports betting, but all bets must be placed at one of their 5 casinos, and there are no betting shops like you see in some other countries. This has served to blunt the growth of land based sports betting, but at least they do have it here. (3)
The lottery here is also pretty popular, and since 1991 the government run lottery has also been offering Kino, which is a cross between lottery and bingo
Gambling in Venezuela is regulated by the government, and only licensed facilities are allowed to operate legally, and they have taken a more conservative approach lately, and have stopped issuing licenses for both new casinos and bingo halls.
So it appears that the land based gambling scene here isn’t set to grow much at all, at least until they open up more with this, which doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon. Gambling is not seen as much of a priority here, but when legal options fail to satisfy the public’s demand for gambling, non legal options often become available, and that’s been the case here as well.
In particular, there are quite a number of underground sports books that operate here, simply because it isn’t convenient for people to travel to one of the casinos to place their bets on sporting events, and often offer better odds than the casinos do, although people are warned that since these operations are illegal, there may be more risks involved.
Many people turn to online gambling though, with or without legal options, and this is the most convenient option of all, by far actually. Venezuela has issued a couple of licenses to online casinos operating out of Margarita Island, which is an offshore possession of Venezuela, although these sites are English only and target players from other countries, not Venezuelans, and these sites are not known to be very reputable as far as online casinos go in any case.
Playing Poker in Venezuela
Like sports betting, poker for money is only allowed to be played at one of the licensed casinos here, and there’s not a lot of poker available at them either, with only a couple of them offering full time poker, although the Marumba Casino does offer 6 tables that run year round. (4)
In spite of this though, poker is very popular in Venezuela, and they do have a regular stop on the Latin American Poker Tour, which first came to the capital and largest city, Caracus, back in 2008 which has become a regular stop on the tour now.
This has served to create a real interest in poker, and in tournament poker in particular, and Venezuela does have a decent amount of live tournaments now, which are once again restricted to the casinos.
As far as the law goes here, there are no specific laws that address online gambling in Venezuela, and players are free to play all the online poker and other online gambling that they wish, at least at the present time anyway.
Due to the lack of online poker being illegal, and it doesn’t have to be made legal to be legal by the way, as being legal simply means that there are no laws against it, none of the top online poker sites in the world have any issues taking players from Venezuela, as they do from a lot of countries these days.
So online poker players from Venezuela are fortunate in that there are no restrictions here, and even the most conservative online poker rooms welcome Venezuelans with open arms, and the best ones, the ones we recommend, even offer play in Spanish should players prefer to play in their own language.
Poker is really catching on in Venezuela, and while for a long time the most popular game of poker here was Oasis poker, a form of Caribbean stud, the game of Texas Holdem has overtaken it in recent years, thanks to the popularity of poker tournaments, well known Venezuelan poker players, and the internet, and the availability of internet poker in particular. (5)
Top Online Poker Sites Accepting Players From Venezuela
Venezuelans have a full plate of the best online poker sites in the world to choose from at the present time, so here’s our top picks for Venezuelan online poker players, all of which offer nice welcome bonuses for new players to their top ranked online poker sites:
888 Poker not only offers people a bonus for players making their first deposit with them, they also offer bonuses to players who don’t even have a deposit that they can make right now. So everyone gets to try this top ranked site out with real money, and they are indeed one of the best poker sites in the world, and have the popularity to prove it.
Party Poker is another very popular online poker site with players from all around the world, and they accept Venezuelans as well. Party Poker, like 888 Poker, has been a huge hit for many years now, and they both know how to make online poker players very happy and keep them wanting to come back again and again.
Titan Poker and Bet 365 Poker are both also among the world’s most favorite online poker rooms, and they also offer a wide variety of different games and limits. They are both on the same poker network, iPoker, so they are mentioned together here, and both have proven to be very worthy of your checking them out, and you get paid to do that as well.
Finally, Black Chip Poker is another top site worthy of your interest, and this one hasn’t been around for quite as long as the other 4 but they are quickly gaining in popularity and they are perhaps the best site that hardly anyone has heard of. Give them a chance for them to show you why they are this good though and you won’t be disappointed.
#1 Editor's Choice All-in-One Gambling Site: BetOnline.ag
BetOnline.ag is one of the most reputable online poker sites that still cater to United States players and ALL grinders worldwide. Claim your 100% poker bonus and/or FREE $25 sports bet!
- New players can earn up to $1,000 in bonus cash on their 1st deposit.
- Ridiculously crisp software and graphics - no lag whatsoever online or on your mobile device.
- Super easy to deposit on - #1 credit card acceptance rate ANYWHERE; Cryptocurrency also accepted!
- 24/7 live support, VERY FAST payout speeds and built-in sportsbook and casino.
- $25 FREE BET available and other perks you can use at their online or LIVE DEALER casino.
EDITOR'S NOTE: BetOnline welcomes players from ALL 50 states and from ALL OVER THE WORLD w/ limited restrictions.