PokerStars Sambas into Sponsoring the Brazilian Series of Poker

In a move that will aggressively promote online poker in South America, PokerStars has taken over sponsorship of the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP). The Tour will hold events in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza and Balneário Camboriú.

David Carrion, Director for Live operations in Latin America, said, “We expect to attract bigger tournament fields by offering more chances to qualify online for free, and therefore increasing participation from many more enthusiasts of the sport.”

Brazil has a population of 201 million, with 76 million of them having access to the internet. Less than 40% is well below the level of penetration in most countries, so the opportunity for growth is significant.

According to a 2010 report by accounting consultancy KPMG, 44% of Brazilians online use the internet for gaming. In the USA the percentage is 35% implying that Brazilians are temperamentally well disposed to online gaming.

Research from a company called SuperData suggested that Brazil will become a top priority for gaming companies. Social gamer Zynga has partnered with Mendez, a provider of pre-paid cards that enables players to deposit money on gaming sites.

In a country where the level of credit card ownership is low, gaming companies need to find solutions for both payments and withdrawals. SuperData analyst, Joost van Dreunen, stated that:

“Brazil is the crown jewel in Latin American market for online entertainment …. Its preference for cash-based payment methods, for example, directly benefits publishers’ bottom-line by avoiding costly charge backs. With declining margins between acquisition cost and average revenue per user in more developed markets, Brazil presents a financially sound opportunity for continued growth.”