‘Boom’ in the sports betting sector in Brazil shows the need for regulation
Photo: Agência Brasil

The sports betting market in Brazil is increasingly strengthened and attracting more and more fans in the country. The start of the Brazilian Series A Championship on April 15 should help to further boost the activity, which was legalized by Law 13,756 of 2018.

From it, bets are released that are only placed in the online scenario, on specialized platforms and with electronic payment. According to the Poder 360 website, among the G20 countries, only three countries still do not have some type of regulation for this market: Brazil, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

In an opinion article on the Poder 360 website by Mario Andrada, the current sports betting scenario in Brazil was deepened and compared to other powers in the global industry. Remembering that the Ministry of Finance has already announced that it should launch a provisional measure to regulate and tax the sector soon. Check out Mario Andrada’s text below:

Explosion of the sports betting market in Brazil imposes regulatory reaction in the same proportion

The Brazilian Championship starts on April 15. Make your bets. The main sites in the field have already made theirs. All teams that compete in the “A” series of the Brasileirão have a betting company as a sponsor. Brazil is considered a “sleeping giant” in the global sports betting market. It is the country with the greatest growth potential in the world, according to specialists.

Sports betting in Brazil should move BRL 12 billion in 2023. Digital gambling has grown overwhelmingly in the country. In 2021 alone, the volume of registered bets grew by 100%. Analysts linked to the industry, who obviously defend its growth, estimate that the tax revenue potential of the industry could reach R$ 20 billion per year. It almost goes without saying that tax revenues are the industry’s main argument to justify the legalization of sports betting.

Brazil was officially treated as the jewel of the global betting industry on March 19, 2022, when the British newspaper Financial Times published a report (link for subscribers) signed by Michael Pooler and Alice Hancock under the title “Gambling groups place their bets on the opening of the market in Brazil”. The text shows in detail the evolution of our market with a very optimistic focus on the growth potential.

Digital betting in Brazil has been “legalized” to some extent since 2018 with Law 13,756 of 2018. From then on, bets that transit only in the digital universe, on specialized websites and with electronic payment, are allowed. It doesn’t hurt to remember that among the G20 countries, only 3 nations still impose some kind of veto or restrictions on betting: Brazil, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

Despite the weight of professional bettors who work with large volumes of money in all markets in the world, the presence of young people, aged between 19 and 25, betting on sports in the country is notable. Although they are more interested in betting on the North American universe of the NBA (Professional Basketball League in the USA) and the NFL (Professional American Football League), young people here also bet on five-time world champion football.

In addition to the financial volume, the big difference between professional and amateur bettors is in the style of the game. Those who are not in the field look for classic bets: win, lose or tie. The professionals, on the other hand, increase the risk and return of their investments with exotic bets: 3 penalties in the 1st half in 3 different games, as has already happened here. Or number of corners, shots on goal or goal difference in wins or losses.

It is evident that the first victim of the growth in the betting market is the fairness of the competitions. Not by chance, Brazil was the country with the highest number of games suspected of manipulation in the world in 2022. The annual integrity report by Sportradar, a leading company in the field and partner of the CBF of UEFA and FIFA – entities that command football in Brazil, Europe and the world – 139 matches in Breton sport were considered suspicious of manipulation. This represents 12% of the dubious results in the world.

My grandmother, passionate about horse racing and card games, told me a story about the dangers of betting: “The devil proposed a challenge to an English lord: choose between 3 tragedies. Gambling, alcoholism, or killing your own mother. He thought fast and chose the game. But to endure sleepless nights playing, he ended up drinking and one day, when he got home drunk, he killed his mother”.

The risks for some young people, for Brazilian football and for the authorities are clear. In the gambling world, easy money is often the illusion rather than the norm.

The British have vast experience in this world. Before Las Vegas and New York consolidated themselves as global betting centers, the game was ruled by the famous “London bookmakers”, so mentioned in the sports media. Much of the sports betting philosophy was built by authors from the reign of His Majesty King Charles III.

Among them is Ian Fleming, creator of the iconic characters 007 and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in cinema. “In gambling, the mortal sin is mistaking a bad move for bad luck,” he said. In Brazil, it is unlucky to have young people involved in betting and the wrong move is to let the betting market continue to grow without the authorities controlling the side effects of the industry.