Bookmaker dominate Brazilian sports marketing (1)
Cesar Greco / Palmeiras

The entry of several bookmakers as commercial partners of the main competitions, entities, clubs and athletes in Brazil is a growing trend in the sports sponsorship market. This is not surprising, as these companies were already investing in sports marketing last season to make themselves known to the Brazilian public and connect with customers in a highly competitive market.

However, it is difficult to provide accurate statistics on betting sites in Brazil, as there is no association that brings together the sector, and, as it is not a regulated sector, there is no specific federal body that takes care of and supervises sports betting brands. Depending on the source, the estimate is that between 200 and 500 betting sites operate in the country, but it is impossible to determine the exact revenue of this sector – which should reach billions due to its success.

A market without regulation

There are companies that offer, in addition to sports betting, other types of games, such as bingos, casinos, games and even online raffles, although these betting games are prohibited by Brazilian law, these sites operate freely in the country, with headquarters in places like Curaçao , Malta, Cyprus and the Isle of Man.

Unlike these games, sports betting has been allowed in Brazil since the approval of Law 13,756, sanctioned by former President Michel Temer. The law established that the federal government would have two years (renewable for another two years) to regulate the sector, that is, to establish the rules for betting companies to operate in Brazil.

That deadline expired on December 13, 2022, without then President Jair Bolsonaro signing the betting regulation decree. After four years of operation without legal certainty, it was to be expected that the main betting companies would reduce their investment in the country. However, this is not what happened in early 2023.

Last year, all clubs that competed in Serie A of the Brazilian Championship were sponsored by a betting site, although some of these contracts were signed with the championship already in progress, such as Athletico-PR, Botafogo and Internacional. Of the 20 teams in the Brazilian Championship, ten had a betting site as their master sponsor.

Sports betting sponsorships in 2023

In 2023, all 20 clubs in Série A of the Brazilian Championship have betting companies as sponsors, and five of the eight biggest club sponsorships come from this segment. Some clubs, such as Cruzeiro, Botafogo, Bahia and São Paulo, are announcing millionaire agreements with these companies, and Paulistão, the main state in the country, has four betting sites as sponsors.

It is correct to say that there are expectations of growth in the number of football clubs that are sponsored by sports betting sites. Recently, Cruzeiro, Botafogo and Bahia announced sponsorship agreements with companies in the segment, in the amount of R$ 25 million, R$ 55 million (Parimatch) and R$ 57 million (Esportes da Sorte), respectively.

In addition, Paulistão, the main state tournament in the country, has four betting sites as sponsors (Esportes da Sorte, Betano, Betnacional and Parimatch), proving the growth of this type of investment in the sports sponsorship market.

It is important to note that this trend may change with the regulation of the sports betting industry, as rules set by the government may limit or restrict these types of sponsorships.

The future of bookmakers in Brazil

The regulation of the sports betting sector in Brazil can bring benefits both for the government and for companies and society in general. This measure would allow bookmakers to operate legally in the country, guaranteeing bettors the protection and security of bodies such as Procon.

In addition, it would generate new jobs and bring the need for skilled labor to the sector, in addition to attracting new investments and indirect jobs. On the other hand, the federal government would earn a few billions from taxes and the sale of licenses to exploit sports betting, which could help pay public bills.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva or a member of the government has yet to comment on the issue. Regardless of what the new president thinks, the law is already approved and sanctioned. If he decides to go back, it will depend on a new bill that will spend years in Congress. If you want to bring order to the sector, you will have several advantages.