The specialized betting houses were authorized in the country in December 2018 under Law 13.756 / 2018. Regulation of the sector is still pending, what means that the Ministry of Economy has to determine the rules for bets to be definitively released. The deadline for regulation is two years, renewable for two more.
Awaiting definitive regulation, foreign betting companies have become major sponsors in Brazilian football. Today, 11 Serie A teams of the Brazilian Championship have already signed a deal with the betting industry. They are: Sao Paulo, Flamengo, Fluminense, Atletico-MG, Bahia, Botafogo, Corinthians, Cruzeiro, Fortaleza, Santos and Vasco.
Brazil has been known as the country of football for many years, but it can also become one of the major forces in the sports betting market. During SIGMA - one of the leading congresses of the iGaming, sports betting and eSports industry, held in Malta last week, November 27-29 - Brazilian sports law lawyer Eduardo Carlezzo was one of the speakers at the event and states that Brazil has the potential to be the "sports betting country."
Carlezzo estimates that all clubs will have some form of sponsorship of bookmakers with the regulation. “If it's not on the shirt, it's on some other asset,” he said. Malta is the leading jurisdiction in the world for registering online sports betting companies. Carlezzo was present at last week’ show and stressed: “SIGMA is an event that opens space for an international approach from various markets around the world regarding the regulation of sports betting. Clearly this year Brazil is the market that attracts the biggest intention of investors”
“There is great expectation as to when the process of permitting companies to operate in the country will finally begin. Unfortunately, an important barrier for this is a change that must be made in the law that legalized sports betting. The matter has returned to the hands of the National Congress, and this may bring further delays,” says Carlezzo. The Federal Government intends to tax companies in the sector that operate in the country at 1% of revenues.
James Scicluna, a lawyer and partner at WH Partners, Europe's leading sports betting law firm, says 2020 will be an important year. “We see tremendous interest from our customers in operating in Brazil. There is hope that the country will regulate online gambling in a way that stimulates competition and requires best practices in responsible gambling, helping to generate a new economic sector for Brazil. 2020 will be a key year, with many operators closely assessing the possibility of investing in Brazil in this sector,” he said.
For Bruno Maia, a specialist in sportstech, fantasy games and gambling market and former vice president of marketing for Vasco club, the trend is that Brazilian football follows the model of the Premier League, where half of England's teams are already sponsored by websites. Betting Sportsbet.io, for example, sponsors Flamengo, the Copa Libertadores champion, and Watford. In the English second division, 70% of the teams have partnerships with companies in the segment.
“I believe it is a path with no return, with more and more companies in this segment entering Brazil. Investments tend to keep growing a lot and soon we will have some club announcing as a master sponsor some betting brand,” said the expert.
During the three days, the congress, which is considered one of the main networking points among professionals in this segment, brought together more than 12,000 participants from 80 countries.