Each year it becomes more difficult to play online poker if you reside in a nation with strict gambling regulations. Prohibition of online poker is taking this world by storm and rather than embracing the benefits of legal online gambling (managed publicity, tax money) more and more countries are closing their borders and make it challenging for players to enjoy their favorite game. In this article, we will share a few tips on how you can play online poker in a restricted country. Read on for more details. 

Which Countries Have Banned Online Poker?

Quite a few countries such as United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Japan have strict prohibition of online poker. Millions of players are trapped in countries like India, Italy, the United States, China, Spain, Australia, France, and Columbia, and many more that have outlawed online poker or have it restricted in some other form (for example European shared liquidity).

What Poker Rooms are Available in Regulated Countries?

It is quite a paradox that many online poker rooms have emerged in popularity in their regions after being prohibited in the first place. Red Dragon Poker is a perfect example of such an event. Chinese poker rooms have been booming ever since 2018 and were able to attract the attention of PokerStars (and other rooms developing in restricted countries) which launched Red Dragon Poker. Basically a Chinese skin of PokerStars such as PokerKing Asia and PPPoker. Here is a brief list of the best poker rooms available for players in regulated nations:

How to Make Deposits/Withdrawals in Regulated Countries?

One of the most common issues that players face in regulated countries is a lack of payment methods. If online poker is forbidden in your nation, it might be quite challenging to make a deposit or a withdrawal. However, this problem can be solved with e-wallets and cryptocurrencies or via an agent if it is not possible via the normal cashier.


Cryptocurrencies have been taking this world by storm for the past several years. This payment method is a top choice among players in regulated markets, as they are fully anonymous because of their blockchain protocol and do not require a central bank. They can be easily used in almost all countries for gambling-related payments. Sites such as Exmo and Localbitcoins are extremely helpful for people in highly regulated countries such as China and Australia. 


E-wallets are most likely the most popular payment option in online poker. EcoPayz, Skrill, and Neteller are the most popular e-wallets. They are all well-known and accepted in nations such as Canada, India, and Spain. To manage their money, SEPA citizens can even get a genuine MasterCard card.

What are the Requirements for Playing at Exotic Poker Rooms?

Generally speaking, if you are playing in Asian poker apps, then emulators will have high technological requirements. Certain rooms might require additional software such as hand converters to enable HUD. Probably the toughest challenge is adapting to different time zones. You might have to adjust your schedule, as Chinese prime time, corresponds to evening in Europe or morning in America. 

When it comes to the costs, then it is fair to say that in terms of rake, exotic poker rooms are not more expensive than their more popular counterparts. Many alternative poker rooms also offer some nice rakeback deals and welcome bonuses. But keep in mind that software such as hand converters may have an additional cost. 

Final Thoughts

Poker regulations across the world have even forced some people to migrate to other countries where online poker is not as restricted. Adrian Mateos leaving Spain is a perfect example of such an event. The preferred destinations are usually Thailand, Mexico, or the UK. The bottom line is that the main challenge should be at the tables, beating the fish, but not struggling with regulations. It is quite understandable that many people are scared of playing online poker in regulated markets, but as discussed in this article, it is clear that there are still opportunities even in the most restricted nations.

Leave A Comment Cancel reply

Terms and Conditions apply.
This offer is only for new customers who are at least 18 years old.
If you need some help with yor gambling pattern and if you feel
that something goes wrong, please visit begambleaware.com

About the Author


Hello, my name is Georgy and I like to write about all of the latest poker news and events. I have always found the game of poker fascinating due to its complexity and action. I also enjoy covering the business side of the pokerworld such as different networks, rooms, and promotions!

Latest changes

The last changes of the page “Online Poker in Restricted Countries: a 2021 Survival Guide” was made by on August 04, 2021