Venezuelans like to play poker, a fact attested to by nearly 40 online poker sites in Venezuela and 60,000 players. As of October 8th, the online players of this nation found themselves with one more choice, as the competition stiffens not just between the players, but between the actual poker rooms.
However, while the market for online poker in Venezuela is now open and moving quickly, there are cultural barriers inhibiting the market. For one, poker is a new game to the majority of Hispanics.
More importantly, according to Eduardo Sagues, market manager for Spanish 888, “people do not always feel comfortable when it comes to open accounts and deposit money on the Internet.” Likewise, Willem van Oort, CEO of Gran Via Online concurs “The Spanish are still wary and reluctant to give their bank details over the Internet. This can be explained by the weak localization efforts of some sites.”
This is where PartyGaming, an international and publicly listed internet gambling company, best known for PartyPoker and PartyCasino, has come to the resque. PartyGaming’s sponsorship of football and other sports has worked wonders at building the Hispanic people’s trust of their products.
Having built trust, PartyGaming has also worked the localization angle by developing and launching a new brand: AzartiaPoker Poker009. Unique to this Spanish poker room, points will be distributed as local Venezuelan currency, the Venezuelan Bolivar, which currently converts to about 0.05 US cents.
Luis Rodriguez, the Director of Operations Poker 009, says that everyone who wishes to play poker in Bolivar may do so but that they are focused on bringing Venezuelan players where they belong. To this end, Poker009 are hosting a series of freerolls and tournaments which will help PartyGaming capture the spotlight.