The time has finally come for the largest economy and population in South America to enter the global sports betting industry. VIXIO GamblingCompliance estimates that the regulated Brazilian sports-betting market will clear US$1bn in annual gross revenue within five years of launch, pending the introduction of a favourable licensing framework.
In addition, a landmark Federal Supreme Court ruling has allowed states to create their own lotteries and offer games including fixed-odds sports betting, opening a new pathway of opportunities for technology providers and private operators on a state-by-state basis.
Entering a new market can be difficult, so here are five key factors to consider:
- Understand the culture
Sport plays a large part in Brazilian culture. Although it is widely known as “the country of football”, other sports, such as basketball and volleyball, have gained popularity over the years. To succeed in Brazil, it is crucial that brands can relate to this sports-driven culture. Soap operas, for instance, are a great source of entertainment and pop references in Brazil. When looking for a spokesperson to represent your brand, consider using a public figure that will captivate local clients. Payment services must also be accessible — even though credit cards are widely accepted, some Brazilians still prefer the user-friendly “boleto bancario”, which is similar to a bank transfer with no fees. It is also important to acknowledge that the national language, Brazilian Portuguese, is different and unique to the country.
- Monitor local laws and regulations
Sports betting is recognised as a legal form of lottery, but not yet regulated. The federal government continues to work on final implementing regulations and develop a concession process for operators. Meanwhile, some states have legalised sports betting as a lottery game within their jurisdiction, creating additional opportunities but also complicated legal frameworks to understand. Historically, most forms of gambling have been prohibited in the country, but this may change sooner than anticipated given the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the decriminalisation of the industry this year, while Congress continues to consider legislation to permit land-based casino-resorts and potentially bingo halls.
- Avoid the bureaucracy
Federal legislation requires anyone doing business in Brazil to set up a subsidiary in the country or to partner with local companies. The public administration is known for its complex and time-consuming procedures, and foreign entities must be as prepared as possible to ensure they don’t encounter unnecessary delays or get wrapped up in red tape.
- Understand the grey market
The complicated and slow paced regulatory process has resulted in a significant grey online market. In May 2021, the Chamber of Deputies approved the creation of a special commission to combat illegal online gambling. With earlier versions of regulations for sports betting incorporating a “bad actors” clause or “cooling-off” period, operators and suppliers need to understand the impact of continuing to operate as the federal government moves towards implementation of a regulated market. At the same time, advertising and sponsorship deals to promote offshore brands continue to proliferate, based on a legal argument that sports betting has been recognised as a legal activity in Brazil even though it has to be fully regulated. VIXIO has been tracking these developments and customers can further understand the topic through this article.
- Do not waste time!
If not prepared, operators will be delayed by bureaucracy and buried in legal fees trying to grasp this new market, so no time should be wasted. The industry is quickly evolving and Brazil can potentially become one of the most important sports-betting markets in the world.
To manage the influx of regulatory information, VIXIO’s New Market Tracker allows customers to stay updated on significant developments for online gambling in the region and enabling an easier decision-making process for operators and suppliers by helping them understand the market, compare legal frameworks and highlight barriers to entry.