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Table Games : Yahoo and the Future of Online Poker Websites

By Elizabeth Scott

Level: Jun 25th 2007
Yahoo, the famous American global Internet services company, released recently its poker games site. This release caused much speculation in the online poker market, creating rumors about the fact that Yahoo had somehow signed an agreement and is looking to be the first to release a poker site in America, once the unlawful gambling act had been reversed.

Obviously, this is nonsense. Even if there are rumors about a possible review of online gambling in America, no deal had been done and the US was not about to reconsider a prohibition order that has caused confusion and exhausted an industry of billions of dollars!

An interesting thing is that some say that these rumors were started by Yahoo themselves in an attempt to create awareness of their poker release. Surely, there are many articles that can be read about the controversial Yahoo's release and launch, but one thing that Yahoo Poker has done for sure, is to draw attention to the use of video introductions on online poker websites.

However, Yahoo is not the first to do this. A Swedish Bingo site had done it earlier than Yahoo. Lasse Kroner Bingo site has a sophisticated and modern design, and targets the technology know-how Swedish market. It's clear that a web design agency has spent a lot of time designing it. Interestingly, the Lasse Kroner Bingo release has something in common with Yahoo Poker. They were both developed and managed by St Minver Ltd. Yahoo accepted the association with St Minver and Boss Media mainly because of their presence in Europe and their experience and knowledge in operating gaming sites.

So, has St Minver an innovative idea? Will St Minver start a revolution in the online poker and bingo markets? Rumors say that Juega Poker and Juega Bingo (two other sites administered by St Minver) are about to get an interesting upgrade with the use of video to help their players to understand how to sign up, deposit money and gamble.

Throughout this new innovative concept, sites can buy software to add a Virtual Employee to their web page. These are regularly supervised by an independent business and they offer you the possibility to add a virtual employee to your design, to help users navigate through complex sites, regularly shopping sites. For instance, web pages like SitePal offer virtual employees for around 10 USD per month. Therefore, SitePal's sales and site traffic increased with 40%, respectively with 150%.

It's clear that the next step in virtual employees will be in utilizing real video as a method of communicating difficult topics on a site or getting a sales message to clients.

To some, poker is a difficult game. It does necessitate some level of knowledge and it is easier and more appealing to a possible gambler, to teach them how to play poker using a video message. Also, by using a female on the video, the site will offer to the majority of male gamblers an additional attraction to joining up and play poker.

The video preface on the Yahoo Poker site permits them to use an attractive method to persuade players to join up and start playing. In general, people favor the human voice to written text or a graphic, and the female used on the Yahoo site offers a technique of building a level of awareness and trust with the brand.

If we study the online market, we can easily observe that the use of videos as a way of communicating has experienced a huge increase with sites like You Tube. This interesting phenomenon will surely continue to develop, and maybe one day there will come a time when text on a website will be replaced with video clips or complete videos, fact that will clearly facilitate the communication of a company message.
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