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San Marino is a microstate embedded within the country of Italy, consisting of an area of 24 square miles, with a population of about 32,000. It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world as far as per capita GDP goes, and has a very strong economy for its size.
San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world, having obtained their independence from the Roman Empire all the way back in the year 301. (1)
Casino gambling first became legalized in San Marino back in 1880, and casinos remained legal until the communist government took over in 1949. These days, San Marino is a constitutional republic, and the government nowadays does not have such a dim view of gambling that the communists had, so it’s made a comeback. (2)
San Marino has a fairly large casino, which also features a pretty nice poker room as well, called GT Poker. They offer poker there 5 days a week, excluding Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This poker room also hosts several large events, including a stop on the PokerStars Italian Poker Tour. (3)
The casino here is pretty bustling, as a lot of Italian tourists visit San Marino, and many come to play at the casino in particular, since there are only a limited number of casinos in Italy. So this might be a small place but there’s plenty of action to be had, and a surprising amount given the size of this country.
Online Poker in San Marino
Online gambling and online poker is tightly regulated in Italy, the country that surrounds San Marino. So while it is legal to play online poker in Italy, players are only allowed to play at Italian regulated sites, like pokerstars.it, and play against other players from Italy only.
As is often the case, players tend to complain of the smaller player pools in these domestically restricted regulatory schemes, although not all online poker regulation is set up this way, and the trend now is to allow players to play on the main online poker sites and track their play for taxation purposes.
Online poker players in San Marino don’t have to worry about any of this though, as there is no poker regulation at all here, and it’s also legal for players to play at whatever online poker sites they wish.
The government here permits online play and does not take any actions whatsoever to prevent or discourage its residents from playing as much online poker as they wish, at whatever online poker sites they wish.
It’s also extremely unlikely that San Marino will ever regulate online poker as Italy and several other countries have done, as there simply are not enough online players in this very small country to make that a project that would make any sense.
So things are completely open here, just like it used to be everywhere before governments began interfering with online gambling, and it is very likely to stay that way as well in San Marino.
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1. San Marino
3. GT Poker