This post is part of a series about European Poker Regulation
Poker is legal in Kazakhstan but only if you play poker in a land based casino located in one of the two gambling zones in the country. The Kazakh gambling regulation, which was passed in 2007, is an outdated legislation, that tries to follow in the spirit of Russian gambling regulation, and is not fit for the modern world.
Kazakhstan Gambling history
Kazahastan, an ex-soviet country, with a population of 17 million in 2016, essentially had free gambling and betting marketing from 1991 to 2007 when official regulation was passed. The 2007 regulation was a clear move by the government to limit gambling and betting within the country so that the majority would not have access to gamble away their salaries
Kazahastan 2007 gambling law
- Only licensed national operators may hold gambling activities in the country
- Operators must have financial reserves to the tune of 300 thousand euro
- A casino must have a minimum of 30 tables, a slot hall must have a minimum of 60 slot machines
- It is not legal to hold online gambling games
- Gambling may be held in two designated zones outside of the main cities in the country
- Casinos will charge entrance fee (roughly a monthly salary for the average joe in the country) in order to allow players to play – casinos responded to this regulation by giving the players back their entrance fee back as play tokens for the casino games
Poker in Kazahastan today
It may not be clear but Kazahastan is another country which put all of its regulations on the operator’s side meaning that poker players in the country have very few limits on what they can do. The local regulator has banned a few sites but is not very active and there are no punishments for players playing poker in the biggest European poker sites in Europe. In 2015 there was talk of regulation updates in the country and new amendments that will tweak the poker market in Kazahastan but it looks like the country will need to change quite a bit as they are losing a crazy amount in tax revenue and tax.
Another important thing to keep in mind as a poker player is that the restriction on entering the casino with a minimum of 500 euro means that the fish you’ll be meeting at the table will be fat ones so the trip might just be worth it!