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The Rise of the Online Gambling Sector in Brazil

Tuesday 18 de June 2024 / 12:00

2 minutos de lectura

(Brasilia).- The online gambling sector in Brazil grew by 734.6% between 2021 and April this year, according to the data anaylisis platform Datahub.

The Rise of the Online Gambling Sector in Brazil

That year, Brazil had 26 companies whose main activity was gambling and online betting operations. In 2022, the jump was 203 per cent, ending the year with 79 companies.

In the first four months of 2024 alone, the same number of companies opened as in 2022. "The big turning point for the sector comes with regulation. Now that the game is 'set', aligned with the government and laws, it tends to provide more security for companies and consumers and naturally tends to grow," explains Felipe Mesquita, account executive at Datahub.

Since December 2018, sports betting has been provided for by law as a legitimate operation in the country. The regulation of the sector, however, would be built up over time. Five years later, the government signed a decree regulating the betting market.

"A more mature market ends up breaking the ice with the suspicious and, by bringing security to users, should bring in more companies," points out Mesquita.

According to the Ministry of Finance, in one month at the end of 2023, 134 companies expressed an interest in working with bets in the country.

And with the structuring of the market, the country is also attracting attention abroad. According to Datahub, two foreign companies sought to operate in Brazil in 2023. In 2024, the search increased to five companies.

"Although modest, this increase is significant and indicates a growing interest in the Brazilian market, encouraged by the new legislation that can offer greater predictability and legal certainty," the study points out.

These companies are registered with the Receita Federal, which implies compliance with Brazil's tax and regulatory requirements, even if they are based in other countries.

Pandemic and technology

Mesquita observes that the sector began to gain strength by taking advantage of the connection that technology promoted in a scenario of social isolation.

"The turning point came after the pandemic, when people stopped interacting directly, which made room for technology services. The betting sector had a very strong boom," points out the Datahub executive.

Jhon Macario, marketing and research analyst at Datahub, reinforces the idea that technology popularises the business.

"Before, the business was restricted to lottery shops. Now it's more accessible via smartphone," says Macario.

The trend is also changing the profile of this marked consumer. According to Datahub, 59.8 per cent of bettors are aged between 22 and 36, the main age group for this audience.

"The younger generation is very connected to electronics, so travelling to bet doesn't even cross their minds," adds Mesquita.

Pulverisation of sectors

André Gelfi, president of the Brazilian Institute for Responsible Gaming (IBJR), also points out that the movement has repercussions in other sectors of the economy, from technology, with the creation of platforms that support the systems, to communication and sports in general.

"The sector is worth billions of reais, generates thousands of jobs and is currently extremely hot, especially after the federal government's regulations at the end of last year," he says.

The expert, however, emphasises the sector's process of maturing after the Union's approval.

"We need to look at the mistakes and successes, and evolve into other proposals based on the difficulties the market encounters," he says. "The tendency is for it to grow even more and move different sectors."

But Macario emphasises that the betting movement is not only made up of young people, and that it also attracts an older audience "because of the advertising during broadcasts".

Until recently, only six of the 20 teams in Serie A - the main division of the Brazilian Championship - didn't have a bookmaker as their main sponsor. Corinthians became the seventh member of this team after its master sponsor, VaideBet, terminated its contract.

"The platforms haven't just been about betting, an important trend in the entertainment market is actions with influencers, adverts and teams that are being promoted," explains Macario.

"The market has grown, is growing and should continue to grow", Felipe Mesquita points out that the scenario is positive for the market, and that its growing structure should still attract new houses and those interested in betting.

"There's still plenty of room [for new companies]. The market has grown, is growing and should continue to grow," he says.

The marketing and research analyst points out that among the main areas where the sector can expand is in payment methods.

Founded in 2018, Pay4Fun is one of Brazil's leading online payment platforms and, in 2022, it became the first payment institution in the betting segment to receive authorisation from the Central Bank. The company is responsible for "bridging the gap" between bookmakers and punters.

The company's CEO, Leonardo Baptista, has been in the market for 20 years and entered the world with an online bingo platform.

From 2009 until 2017 he started operating a bookmaker, and according to the entrepreneur, the biggest "headache" was the payment methods, which were mostly irregular. And it's in this sense that the sector has room to grow.

"There's room to grow in terms of quality, both in terms of bookmakers and payment methods. Today there is a lot of poor quality and irregular service," says Baptista.

In addition to regulation, the sector has the opportunity to continue growing by "combining two national passions", says the businessman. "Brazilians are passionate about betting, and sportsbetting is here to fulfil that passion," says Baptista.

But he emphasises that for the sector's growth rate to be sustainable, with responsibility and security, a distinction is necessary: the betting sector is geared towards entertainment, not investment.

"You see a lot of influencers selling bets as if it were guaranteed money or extra income. Gambling is not extra money, it's not a guarantee of money," reflects Baptista.


By João Nakamura


Tags: Sin tags

País: Brazil

Región: South America


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