Poker Stars has a new ambassador for their Latin America market. The international poker site has just signed Argentinian football star Juan Sebastian Verón who will be appearing in internet advertisements promoting online poker in Argentina and other countries in the region.
“It is truly a pleasure for us to have Verón as an Ambassador for PokerStars.net,” says Sarne Lightman , managing director of PokerStars Latin America. “His sporting and competitive spirit embodies the values of our brand and we feel very proud that this great soccer player decided to represent the number one poker site in the world.”
Estudiantes de La Plata midfielder Verón has been strutting his stuff in recent weeks, playing a pivotal role in Argentina’s impressive World Cup campaign. He made a name for himself in Serie A with Lazio before playing for Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan, then finally returning to Estudiantes four years ago. Verón has been voted South American Player of the Year for two years running.
Verón’s new deal with PokerStars comes at a time when the popularity of Argentinian poker rooms is on the rise. The spread of poker across the area has been largely due to the rise of the PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) which has been running since 2008. The decision to sign an Argentinian sports figure could be due to the fact that this season’s LAPT Grand Final will be held in Argentina late this year. Other stops on the current tour include Costa Rica, Bahamas, Uruguay, Peru, and Brazil.
The attitude towards online gambling in Argentina has been softening in recent years. There was a time not long ago when the government was firmly against internet gambling, especially when it concerned foreign-based gambling sites. Lawmakers are inching ever closer to regulating internet gambling in the country, but progress has been slow. This new deal between Poker Stars and Juan Sebastian Verón, however, suggest that Argentinians are ready to embrace the world of internet gambling.