Brazil: The Impact of the pandemic on the roll-out of sports betting and the wider gaming market



Brazil has had its own difficulties with regulation and legalisation of various types of gaming, and this newly developed situation with the pandemic has slowed down the process of unlocking the “sleeping giant” potential even more. The webinar focused on discussing several key aspects such as:


  • Betting and gaming market potential of Brazil
  • Legislative and regulatory proposals
  • Progress of regulatory and licencing framework for sports betting
  • Successful product and marketing strategies



The attractiveness of the Brazilian market

Alessandro Fried, Chairman, BtoBet 


Over the years BtoBet has established its presence and gained valuable insights of the iGaming industry in LatAm, in order to explain how big the potential of Brazil is, Alessandro took the Columbia example which shows how big the benefits are when a country goes from being unregulated to regulated.


Before being regulated, in Columbia there were hundreds of non-regulated small retail operators who were providing sport betting services for the players, also there were not any online operators. After the regulation Columbia went online with 17 regulated operators and has managed to increase its growth in the online gaming industry for 106.3%. Interesting fact to keep in mind is that going online is beneficial for the players since they gain access to safe and secure online gaming platforms, also opportunities for collaboration with other industries are included.


Back to Brazil, is it an enormous opportunity for online gaming? Most certainly yes. Brazil is the largest country in terms of population in LatAm, what is even more interesting is that the market in terms of internet penetration is huge. 150.4 million people out of 211.8 million have access to the internet (that is more than 70% of  the population). The interesting facts about Brazil potential do not stop there, on the subject of average daily usage, players in Brazil spend around 9 hours using the internet on a daily basis. Internet penetration aspect is great, but what about the other important aspect, finances? Moving from retail to online has its difficulties and challenges for the operators such as access to financial instruments or access to payment methods that are mostly used by the players. Good news about this aspect is that more than one third of the population has access to credit or debit cards and uses them daily.


You can find the entire industry report about Brazil and how much it is expected to grow after being regulated here →


All of this provides a good opportunity for anyone who will enter this industry in the future when Brazil turns from being unregulated to a regulated market.





Regulatory and licensing framework for sports betting

Itamar Pereira, Technical Manager, SECAP, Ministry of Economy


Itamar stated that their first responsibility is to regulate federal lottery which has been operating in Brazil since 1980, additionally they have two other challenges which must be overcomed. One of them is for  lotex, and the other one is a big challenge which is regulation of sports betting. First big step towards regulation and legalisation was federal law, unlike the USA where they have regional and state laws, Brazil has one big legal framework which should make things more comfortable for the future operators.


After establishing federal law, three public consultations were published for the public due to shortage of time to make regulations. In these consultations there were more than 3000 contributions, also two versions of regulations were presented to the public. Over 90% of contributions came from players which was bad news for the ministry and other 10% were about technical issues about sports betting regulations. Evaluating these contributions made them realize that they must investigate this situation even further, also finding the best practice from around the globe should help them as well since they still do not have solid position on how to make these regulations.






Operator’s perspective

André Gelfi, MD Brasil, Suaposta/Betsson


According to his perspective if you take into an account the entire experienced team that is working on this matter we should be expecting a business model to be put into place along with the entire process somewhere next year. André expressed that there are ways to take on this challenge of regulating sports betting, the team working on this is qualified and experienced enough and is confident the regulation will happen sooner than we expect. He also added the importance of having a good regulatory system in Brazil in order to reap all the benefits like maximizing revenues.


As for someone who has been working in the only international fully licenced operator in Brazil, André indicated that being licenced operator has its strengths like having access to local payment methods, digital media assets etc. Their goal at the moment is extending the brazilian business environment to their industry, which has proven to be a difficult task for them since online gaming is not established well in Brazil yet. There are conflicts with payment methods, with media deals etc.


Being a local operator who works in this industry for over 10 years he stated that there are a lot of opportunities in Brazil for online gaming since there is only one fully regulated and legal operator, and it takes a certain amount of time to learn and understand the dynamics of doing business in Brazil. Sooner you enter the market the better you will be able to establish a proper business in it.





Legislative perspective on gambling and betting

Federal Deputy Newton Cardoso, President of the Tourism Commission Ctur, Brazilian Chamber of Deputies


Newton addressed his concern about the pandemic explaining how much it has affected Brazil, how long it will take to recover from it, and how big of a challenge it is to deal with it. According to Newton legalising gambling and online betting this year will be a task next to impossible. Congress is concerned that the longer sports betting is not being regulated the more they are forced to work together to create a legal framework. He indicated that it is very important to have a system which will control the entire industry, because as he said there are still a lot of illegal activities that must be taken care of. At this point it is very difficult to create a solution that will tackle all the challenges and problems at once, but the congress will continue to make efforts towards legalising gambling and regulating sports betting.



Supplier’s perspective

Alessandro Fried, BtoBet, Chairman


Alessandro stated that the suppliers come after operators, they as suppliers provide the necessary technology to regulate operators therefore they are highly dependent on regulations for sports betting in Brazil. Having a regulated market is very important. Sports betting is not something that will not happen if it is not regulated, unfortunately happens in a way where neither the stakeholder or players are provided with safe and secure services. Regulating sports betting will provide a lot of opportunity and security whilst increasing revenues and also expanding the industry furthermore.




Watch the full webinar here –>