Special report: the future of sports betting in Brazil

The Brazilian government may regulate sports betting before the end of the month.
The Brazilian government may regulate sports betting before the end of the month.

Focus Gaming News contacted industry experts to hear their opinions on the potential regulation of sports betting in Brazil.

Special Report.- Although sports betting was legalised in Brazil in 2018, the regulatory process was put on hold due to changes in government and political differences in the country. However, following Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s victory in the 2022 presidential elections, the chances of sports betting being regulated at the federal level have grown to the point where it has never been closer to becoming a reality.

Given this scenario, Focus Gaming News contacted representatives of two of the world’s leading sports betting companies to hear their opinions on the matter.

Asked about expectations for the approval of the Regulatory Framework for Gambling, representatives from 1xBET said: “The approval of sports betting could bring a change in the way the Brazilian legislature sees gambling. Everyone knows that gambling not only contributes to tax revenue but also generates local jobs and encourages tourism, for example.

“This is an important decision, which could come back to light with the approval of sports betting.”

As for whether the company has already planned a strategy to enter the country, the company said: “We are following every step that the Brazilian government takes in this direction. We are analyzing the scenario and the best way to be part of it.

“Today, we can say that we encourage the approval of the regulation and that we are attentive to the next steps.”

Asked the same question, Ignacio Iglesias, director of Strategic Partnerships at Kambi LatAm/EMEA, said: Kambi has established itself as the sports betting supplier of choice throughout the Latin American region – live in jurisdictions including Mexico, multiple provinces in Argentina and powering the Colombian market leaders BetPlay and RushBet – and we are enthused at the prospect of bringing our award-winning technology to Brazil.

“We have already announced a long-term partnership with Rei do Pitaco (RDP), the country’s largest daily fantasy sports operator chaired by FanDuel co-founder Nigel Eccles. The partnership offers Kambi a fantastic platform upon which to expand into Brazil as regulation allows.

“RDP has generated millions of downloads for its DFS app, growing to a position of immense popularity and brand recognition throughout Brazil, and it is an impressive customer database that will continue to grow once sports betting is finally regulated.

“Kambi is always assessing opportunities to enter newly regulated markets either through new partnerships or extending existing ones and with a flexible technology stack which can quickly pivot to meet any local requirements across both regulation and consumer preferences we are well placed to capitalise as regulation in Brazil approaches.”

Brazil: a key market in LatAm and the world

Due to its population and strategic location, Brazil is seen by many companies as a key market for industry growth.

“The betting industry is an important part of today’s financial ecosystem. This is a fact. Regulating these industries means being open to market advances. Brazil is a huge country, with great potential in several sectors, including ours. We see Brazil as another important global market,” 1xBET said.

Kambi’s Iglesias added: “With a population of more than 200 million people, Brazil has the potential to become one of the world’s biggest regulated sports betting markets.

“Brazil has the potential to become one of the world’s biggest regulated sports betting markets.”

Ignacio Iglesias, director of Strategic Partnerships at Kambi LatAm/EMEA.

“Regulation in Brazil has been on the cards for many years now and it is pleasing to see that a country with such sports betting potential finally seems to be making headway in this regard. Brazil is a country known across the world for its passionate sports fans, not least in soccer as the growth of RDP shows, but also across other sports such as basketball and tennis.

“Furthermore, esports is fast growing in popularity in Brazil and Kambi already has a strong product here through its acquisition of leading esports odds and data provider Abios.”

Regulated markets versus illegal betting

Iglesias said regulation is key to protecting the integrity of sports, as licensed bookmakers can detect irregular betting patterns and possible manipulations and raise these concerns to organisations such as the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).

Iglesias also highlighted that Kambi was the first member to flag potentially suspicious events to the IBIA on more than 80 per cent of occasions in 2022.

A promising future

Undoubtedly, expectations for the possible regulation of sports betting in Brazil are high, but how will Latin America be seen by the rest of the world if Brazil finally approves regulated sports betting at the federal level?

For 1xBET, a large and important country like Brazil has the function of creating trends. This means the regulation of sports betting could be a sign for the rest of the continent. “Serving as a model is always important, and we hope that Brazil will be an example of an organization in this industry,” added the company spokesperson.

At Kambi, Ledesma said: “Latin America is already seen as a crucial market of the global sports betting market, and with a population of approximately 650 million people, it is almost twice the size of the United States.”

“With the ongoing expansion of regulated sports betting across the region, Latin America remains an attractive market with significant long-term potential for Kambi and the industry as a whole. The addition of Brazil as a regulated market will only continue this upward trajectory and strengthen Latin America’s position in this regard.”

The cards are already on the table and the possibilities are immense. Now, it only remains to closely monitor what happens in Brazil.

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gambling regulation sports betting