Online Poker World Looks to South America, Asia for Boost

February 24, 2017

machu-picchu-online-pokerIn the mid-2000s, online poker experienced a boom thanks to the game’s rapid growth in America. When the US signed the UIGEA into effect, poker sites targeted European countries for further growth. But with the game now stagnating in both of these regions, online poker is setting its sights on South America and Asia.

This trend has been brewing for a few years now, but brands like Bodog and PokerStars have increased their South American and Asian marketing efforts recently. Asia is a potential goldmine with its 4.44 billion people, while South America has 422.5 million residents.

PokerStars ended its European Poker Tour in 2016 and plans to dedicate more efforts to their Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT) and Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT). Additionally, they’ll be running the PokerStars Festival, in Chile, Korea, the Philippines, and Uruguay this year. Other big events include an event in Macau and the PokerStars Championship in Panama.

Bodog, which exited Europe in 2012 and the US in 2013, has been focusing on Asia for a while, establishing a strong foothold in China and Vietnam. But just recently, they’ve expanded into the South American market, targeting countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, and Peru.

Bodog spokesman Ed Pownall talked about the company’s strategy and where they see it heading.

“The Latin American region has long been seen as a growth area for the online gaming industry but we felt leading with poker was the best point of entry as we have made such a strong name for ourselves in this arena,” said Pownall. “Furthermore, the innovative brand has also introduced Bitcoin payment processing as part of its service in those countries, together with more familiar deposit and withdrawal options.”

With some of the biggest brands in online gaming making inlets in South America and Asia, it’ll be interesting to see when other poker sites begin following suit.