For Witoldo Hendrich, events like BiS help to 'educate the public about betting'

We are already counting down to the first edition of the Brazilian iGaming Summit (BIS) – The iGaming Intelligence Made in Brazil. The only national event focused on the iGaming, sports betting and lotteries segments will take place on December 1st and 2nd, aiming to meet the demand of the industry itself to meet in person in 2021.

The stage for this meeting, with national and international brands, will be Espaço Boulevard JK, Edifício International Plaza, located in the commercial center of São Paulo. BiS 2021 will count on the participation of operators, politicians, leaders, suppliers and specialists who will debate all the consolidation and growth trends of the sector in Brazil, which is already pointed out by the industry as one of the most promising markets on the planet.

With an already defined agenda with panels, lectures and the first iGaming sector award in the country, the Brazilian iGaming Summit will also receive Wiitoldo Hendrich Jr, partner at Online IPS and Hendrich Advogados, who reports what he expects from the two-day event.

“All these gambling events in Brazil are of great importance to educate the Brazilian public about betting. As much as we are, we, quite acclimated and used to the theme, I see on any bar table that the theme is not in the domain of the general public”, he said.

And he continued: “With the sponsorship of big clubs by betting companies, the activity and above all the names are already familiar to Brazilians, but what happens behind it, the control, compliance and protection tools are absolutely unknown. These events tend to minimize this”.

Challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic

BiS will be the single most relevant betting event in the country since the first quarter of last year. Therefore, Witoldo celebrated the possibility of reactivating contacts. “Really good right? I’ve been to some events abroad, I’ve met friends and partners again. In Brazil it will be really cool too”.

He also detailed how he adapted to continue acting in this challenging period. “In terms of work, the pandemic didn’t bother us much. My law firm has been 100% virtual since 2003. I spent a fortune on scanners and hard drives back then (laughs). At Online IPS, work is naturally remote. We have teams in Rio, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as clients around the world. So adapting was very natural, without stress”.

On the other hand, physical conventions were severely impacted. “What was really harmed were the physical meetings, not only for us, but for the whole world. So, the expectation of this reunion is the best. We are looking forward to here at the office for the BiS to arrive soon”.

Evolution of the regulatory process for betting in Brazil

Witoldo Hendrich Jr. has been following the negotiations for the regulation of the Brazilian betting market for a long time. “In 2016, I was a speaker there at the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies, when we had the promise that PL 442 would be voted on that day, which, if I’m not mistaken, was December 16th. Since then, we’ve had a lot of talk but few concrete moves. The concrete movements we had were poorly organized”.

And he added: “Lotex didn’t work out and the sports betting law is practically unenforceable from an operational point of view. This truncated process makes life much easier for dream sellers, right? It’s not my style. I’ve already told a lot of people, a lot of people, that the right thing is to wait. We still don’t have anything concrete, but as soon as we do, we’ll take the right step.”

Furthermore, Witordo stressed that this ‘staggering’ advance is harmful. “On the other hand, there was enormous anxiety on the part of operators to regulate the game here. Over those years, what’s happened is that everyone who has structured the minimum is earning money. So why change, right? The country’s faltering walk in the direction of regulation harms tax collection, control and the consumer. I feel a little sad.”

Therefore, he believes that events such as BiS can collaborate to demystify this market for the Brazilian population. “I say this has time. When the population understands and believes in something, they put pressure on the councilor, the state deputy, the mayor. That inner circle of public relations. These put pressure on governors, federal deputies and senators. I think the trend is to walk”, he pointed out.

Witoldo Hendrich Jr. also reinforced that these initiatives help to create pressure on those who can make the decisions. “I like club sponsorships because they create pressure from club presidents on legislators: ‘It could be better and broader if it were regulated.’ And no one can deny that the pressure from clubs on legislators is enormous. with the fans of your constituency? Nobody, right? BiS is good for that. It helps to create this pressure from the bottom up. I think it’s very important! And I wish the organizers good luck. It will be a success,” he concluded.

Remembering that the full schedule of speakers, registration and other information can be found on the event’s official website: